RIYADH: Some 2,500 athletes representing more than 170 countries are participating in the World Senior Weightlifting Championship, which opens on Sunday in Riyadh.
Mohammed Jaloud, president of the International Weightlifting Federation, and the heads of the participating national federations will lead the opening ceremonies for the 14-day sporting event at 7 p.m., at the Ministry of Sports Hall of the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex in the Saudi capital.
The competition, which will run until Sept. 17, is a qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The opening ceremony is set to last 40 minutes and expected to include artistic performances by international teams, national heritage segments, folklore performances, and visual and acrobatic shows. It will be broadcast on Saudi sports channels and a number of global channels.
The “Zurcaroh” Austrian acrobatic team, which won second place in the “America’s Got Talent” program, will present an artistic performance for the first time in the history of the World Weightlifting Championships, with more than 43 artists from Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and Switzerland participating. The group is headed by Petterssonhora, a Brazilian artist and choreographer with more than 25 years of experience.
Organizers said that they started preparing for the event more than a year ago after Riyadh was announced as the host city. Nine hotels have been selected for the accommodation of participating teams.
Twenty buses are to operate 16 hours a day for the transportation of athletes from their accommodation to the training and competition hall, where more than 70 training platforms have been provided for athletes.
Participating teams began landing in Riyadh last week, with Kyrgyzstan as the earliest arrival, followed by the Thai and Canadian teams.
An anti-doping committee will conduct daily examinations, in addition to distributing informative publications in training halls, aiming to raise awareness about the dangers of using doping substances in general, and for athletes in particular.