First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu championship is a form of wrestling consisting of one round that lasts for five minutes, whereas the amateur kickboxing championship consists of two rounds of light contact, each lasting for two minutes. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 November 2018

First women’s martial arts tournament concludes in Jeddah

  • In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third

JEDDAH: The Legendary Heroes gym club in Jeddah organized the first women’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing tournament, with the participation of around 40 contestants.
This tournament is considered the first-of-its-kind women’s sports event in the Kingdom. It was held under the auspices of the General Sports Authority. The tournament aimed to stress the importance of women’s power in society and further promote martial arts values.
The tournament was characterized by the contestants’ enthusiasm and fierce competition. In the jiu-jitsu lightweight division, Jude Al-Fahmi was the winner, Ma’wiya Zahed was second and Hanan Saber third. In the kickboxing lightweight division, Alzhra’ Al-Qorshi was first and Mourouj Al-Amoudi second. In the jiu-jitsu middleweight division, Hounouf Sanari was the winner and Lyann Hadrami runner-up, and in the kickboxing middleweight division, Hadeel Ashour won and Maha Halwani was second. Mourouj Al-Amoudi won the jiu-jitsu heavyweight division, with Lynn Fira second, Arwi Tambousi third and Shahd Al-Shareef fourth. Sarah Nas won the kickboxing heavyweight division and Rana Hakim was runner-up. In the jiu-jitsu open weight division, Shahd Al-Shareef was first and Hanan Saber second.
Captain Mohammed Abbas, the founder of Legendary Heroes, said the championship competitions had a large audience and a broad attendance of women of various age groups. It also witnessed various sports such as audience arm-wrestling and martial arts shows such as karate, Taekwondo and Tai Chi.
Jumana Yusuf, executive director of the tournament’s organizing committee, said she was happy with the success of the tournament, which aims to spread martial arts culture and discipline, reflecting positively on promoting the country to be in the ranks of developed countries.
She added that throughout history, this culture has been a key factor in the revival and advancement of people and the defense of their homelands.
“The second goal is to lead by example in organizing and managing women’s martial arts tournaments so that all women’s clubs can organize such activities professionally and smoothly.
“The Legendary Heroes gym club’s management in Jeddah organized training and refereeing sessions for its working group and contestants in these two sports. The management also gave away a free booklet that includes the translated two sports’ arbitration laws. Captain Marouj Al-Ghamdi, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu trainer, was a fundamental factor in spreading these sports and organizing this tournament as one of the judges and as a contestant,” she added.
The tournament’s judges were international Saudi contestant Captain Farah Al-Zahrani, the holder of a blue belt practicing in Jordan, and international judges Amina Hatem and Rou’a Zareh.

6 Saudi teams scale heights as Canadians win Entrepreneurship World Cup

Updated 25 min 2 sec ago

6 Saudi teams scale heights as Canadians win Entrepreneurship World Cup

  • Third-ranked Saudi startup Red Sea Farms receives thunderous applause from audience
  • The EWC is the world’s largest startup competition, with over 100,000 applicants

RIYADH: Canadian firm NERv Technology Inc. emerged victorious at the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) at the Misk Global Forum (MGF) 2019 in Riyadh on Thursday, with Saudi startup Red Sea Farms coming third.

NERv Technology Inc. was handed a $500,000 prize and the winning trophy, while second-ranked team Koniku Inc. from the US won $250,000.

Red Sea Farms received $150,000, and fourth and fifth-ranked Sumato-ID (of Argentina) and SUN Mobility (India) were handed $50,000 each.

Speaking to Arab News, NERv Technology’s Amr Abdelgawad said: “It’s been a fantastic experience going through the event here over the past few days.

“We have been working really hard for almost five years to make sure we have a device that can actually have an impact on people’s lives and I think we are getting one step closer to that.  

“It was a great experience in terms of the people we met, the people we engaged with, being able to be in the same place with like-minded individuals who understand how difficult it is to start our own business. We helped each other and have great respect for all the finalists, the grand prize to us is just a small part of winning, to be in the final was great.”     

On coming to Riyadh to participate in the EWC, he said: “It was really nice being here, I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, so it is great to come back and see this country the way it is right now, and it is absolutely fantastic to win the EWC here.”

Third-ranked team Red Sea Farms (Saudi Arabia) received a $150,000 cheque. (AN photo by Ziyad Al-Arfaj)

Mark Tester, CEO and founder of Red Sea Farms, told Arab News: “It is a fantastic feeling to come third, to be in this event is fantastic to be honest, I am really proud of representing Saudi Arabia.”

He commended the role played by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) describing it as a “fabulous organization” to work with.

“This is real affirmation of our efforts to build companies and deliver research back to Saudi Arabia,” added Tester. 

Speaking at the final ceremony of the MGF, Commerce and Investment Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi praised the startups at the EWC finals and described the MGF as a “hope forum,” saying it provided a platform for making the Kingdom a land of opportunity.

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the MGF, thanked all the participants and EWC contestants for “really amazing sessions”.

She also gave a sneak peak of MGF 2020, saying it would be historically important because of the Kingdom hosting G20 Summit next year.

“The EWC global finalists represent the cream of international startup talent. We’re looking forward to seeing the entrepreneurs reach even greater heights thanks to the bootcamp ahead of the finals at the MGF. Our partnership with KAUST is part of our commitment to working with top international leaders in innovation, training, and development to achieve our global mission of empowering young people to thrive in the knowledge economy.”

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, commerce and investment minister, left, and Bader Al-Asaker, chairman of MISK initiative center, right, with coo and cofounder of Nerv Technology that emerged victorious at the entrepreneurship World cup under the Misk Global Forum 2019 in Riyadh on Nov. 14, 2019. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)

Red Sea Farms received thunderous applause from the audience as it placed third, with all the successful teams well-received.

Notably, of the 100 global finalists, six were from Saudi Arabia: Sadeem, Faheem, Cura, Dhad, Red Sea Farms and UnitX. All were founded by graduates of KAUST’s entrepreneurship programs.

The contest’s 10 semifinalists were: Bambrew (India), CiDi (China), Corumat Inc. (US), DRD Biotech (Russia), Koniku Inc. (US), NERv Technology Inc. (Canada), Red Sea Farms (Saudi Arabia), SUN Mobility (India), Sumato-ID (Argentina), and Tensortec (China).

Judges at the event included Kevin O’Leary, chairman of O’Shares Investments, Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, CEO and managing director of STV, Christine Tsai, CEO of 500 Startups and Aneel Ranadive, managing partner at Soma Capital.

Earlier over the course of the forum, the 100 startups drawn from national and regional finals around the world were whittled down to a final top 10.

KAUST hosted the EWC finalists between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 at its entrepreneurship bootcamp in partnership with the MGF, at its campus in Thuwal near Jeddah.

The EWC is the world’s largest startup competition, with over 100,000 applicants.

Saudi Arabia presents an extraordinary opportunity for startups interested in accessing the MENA market and tapping into KAUST’s unique ecosystem, focused on finding solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges in food, water, energy and the environment.

The KAUST-Misk partnership aims to advance Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic transformation goals by attracting cutting-edge, impactful startups and top entrepreneurial talent to the Kingdom.

The EWC was conducted by the MGF in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network, alongside local and regional partners.