— Published 13 September 2023

Riyadh to fill up with athletes

With just over a month to go, the third edition of the World Combat Games, scheduled for 20-30 October in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is shaping up to be the biggest ever. The Saudi organisers have registered the qualification of 1,657 athletes from over 80 countries. The final lists of qualified athletes have been released by the international federations of the sports concerned. They show a certain gender imbalance, with 913 male athletes and 744 female, with some disciplines reserved for men. Of the 16 sports on the programme, wrestling will be the most represented, with 288 competitors. It will be followed by fencing (144), ju-jitsu (136), aikido (100), arm-wrestling, karate and kickboxing (96). The Paralympic events, present for the first time, will feature 56 athletes – 38 men and 18 women – competing in arm-wrestling, ju-jitsu, muaythai and sambo. The World Combat Games were inaugurated in Beijing in 2010. The second edition took place in Saint Petersburg in 2013, before a decade-long hiatus.