World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday
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The Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championship begins on Friday in the Arena Hall at King Saud University, Riyadh. (Supplied)
World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday
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More than 1,700 fencers from more than 100 countries will be participating at the event, which concludes on April 20. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 April 2024
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World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday
  • Competition begins with foil fencing for participants under 20 years
  • 54 referees from around the world will officiate

RIYADH: The Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championship begins on Friday in the Arena Hall at King Saud University, Riyadh.
More than 1,700 fencers from more than 100 countries will be participating at the event, which concludes on April 20.
The championship starts at 8 a.m. with foil fencing for participants under 20 years, while the opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. and includes players, referees, a visual presentation about fencing, and a parade of the teams’ flags.
WFC’s organizing committee began its preparations for the event by issuing visas; selecting 15 hotels for the delegations of the teams and committees in the international federation; and assigning 30 buses to transport players from the hotels to training venues and competition halls.
The committee has also prepared 60 courts to the highest standards to comply with the International Fencing Federation.
The event will be officiated by 54 referees from around the world.
The championship is expected to attract global attention and media coverage, and its prestige will help in the pursuit of achieving the goals of Vision 2030 that aim to transform Saudi Arabia into a global destination for hosting major competitions and events.
Attendance for spectators at the Arena Hall is free of charge.


Crafting champions: The artistry behind the ‘Ring of Fire’ trophy belt

Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
Updated 27 May 2024
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Crafting champions: The artistry behind the ‘Ring of Fire’ trophy belt

Nasser Farsi, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied
  • Engraving tools with diamond tips and tungsten carbide tips were used, depending on the function
  • Each stroke of the engraving tool was not just a mark on metal, but also a tribute to the sport’s rich heritage and the warriors who have graced the ring

Riyadh: In the world of boxing, where legends are made and history is written with every punch, there exists a tangible symbol of triumph and glory — the championship belt.

And behind every iconic belt lies a story of craftsmanship and dedication, as exemplified by the artisans at Farsi Jewelry House, entrusted with engraving the trophy belt for the historic “Ring of Fire” fight between Britain’s Tyson Fury and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, Nasser Farsi, provided insights into the meticulous process that went into crafting the emblem of sporting greatness.

“We used engraving tools with diamond tips and tungsten carbide tips, depending on the function,” said the artisan, highlighting the attention to detail and precision required for such a task. From planning and drawing, to engraving and quality checking, every step was executed with the utmost care and precision.

The artisan is seen engraving the champion's name on the belt. supplied

The engraving of the host city and date, along with the champion’s name and the names of the boxing legends preceding them, imbues the belt with a sense of history and reverence. Each stroke of the engraving tool was not just a mark on metal, but also a tribute to the sport’s rich heritage and the warriors who have graced the ring.

Despite their expertise, the artisans faced challenges along the way, particularly with the unexpectedly strong metal used for the belt. “The most challenging part was that the metal used for the belt was much stronger than we expected. It was done in a superb quality metal,” Farsi said. However, the engravers overcame the challenge “by adding an additional step, which is micro hammering with a diamond tip,” ensuring that the final product surpassed expectations in quality and craftsmanship.

For the artisans at Farsi Jewelry House, the opportunity to contribute to such a high-profile event is a source of immense pride and honor. “It was such a privilege and honor for me personally as my work was literally writing down a historical moment,” Farsi said. The sentiment was echoed by his colleague for the task, Samuel Nacario, whose passion for boxing and martial arts made the experience “a dream come true.”

Samuel Nacario, one of the master engravers from Farsi Jewelry House, is seen in action. supplied

While the engraving was done in-house by Farsi’s team, the assistance and artwork of people like Nacario, who Farsi sees as a “teacher,” played a crucial role in bringing the project to life.

Though the cultural significance of Riyadh may not have directly influenced the belt’s design, the event’s hosting in the Saudi capital sent a powerful message to the world. “It was a message that we are way ahead of our plans to reach what was anticipated for Vision 2030,” said Farsi, highlighting the event’s broader significance in the context of the Kingdom’s cultural and economic aspirations.

The artisan hinted at future projects, promising further glimpses of his craftsmanship. While the details remain under wraps, one thing is clear — Farsi Jewelry House is poised to continue leaving its mark on the world of sports and beyond.

In the realm of boxing, where every victory is immortalized and every defeat serves as a stepping stone, the craftsmanship of Nasser Farsi stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of champions.

As the “Ring of Fire” trophy belt changes hands and journeys through the annals of history, one thing remains certain — it is more than just a belt; it is a symbol of excellence, perseverance and the indomitable spirit of the human endeavor.


Saudi Arabia gears up for first Esports World Cup

Saudi Arabia gears up for first Esports World Cup
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia gears up for first Esports World Cup

Saudi Arabia gears up for first Esports World Cup
  • The competition will bring together more than 2,500 gamers
  • The tournament will support the Kingdom’s efforts to elevate the world of esports and highlight its positive impact on society

RIYADH: Riyadh is set to host the first-ever Esports World Cup.

The competition, which will take place at Boulevard Riyadh City from July 4 to Aug. 25, will bring together more than 2,500 gamers representing elite teams and clubs. The event features a prize pool of $60 million, the largest in esports history.

Powered by the Esports World Cup Foundation, the tournament aims to propel the e-gaming industry forward while creating promising opportunities for players and multi-team clubs.

The largest event in esports history, it will unite a global community that includes players, fans, game producers and publishers, with a focus on fostering connections and collaborations.

The unprecedented size of the prize pool means the cup is poised to become a milestone for the EWCF, which seeks to attract top talent and celebrate the popularity of esports.

The tournament will support the Kingdom’s efforts to elevate the world of esports and highlight its positive impact on society.

It will play a vital role in promoting cultural exchange and encouraging brands and companies to invest in the sector.


Heavyweight boxers Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk face off in Riyadh on Saturday

Heavyweight boxers Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk face off in Riyadh on Saturday
Updated 15 May 2024
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Heavyweight boxers Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk face off in Riyadh on Saturday

Heavyweight boxers Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk face off in Riyadh on Saturday
  • The winner will carry the four championship belts in a unification bout for most important global organizations in boxing
  • Fury and Usyk both seek to write their name in the history books alongside global icons

RIYADH: British heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and Ukrainian contender Oleksandr Usyk are scheduled to face off for the undisputed heavyweight world title on Saturday at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena.
The winner will carry the four championship belts in a unification bout for the most important global organizations in boxing — the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO), according to a media statement released on Wednesday.
The four belts feature images of boxing legends such as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Fury and Usyk will both be seeking to write their name in the history books alongside these global icons, the statement added.
Saturday’s long-awaited-match will be the pinnacle of modern boxing as it is the first time that the four belts will be unified in a single fight. It evokes the prestigious legacy of the greats who have previously shaped the sport’s championship titles.
WBC was established in 1963, and Muhammad Ali was one of its most famous champions, holding the title three times during his career.
IBF was founded in 1983; Larry Holmes dominated the heavyweight division for seven years across different periods of his career.
WBO was established in 1988, and although it is the newest of the belts, it has been held by several prominent champions, including Chris Byrd and Herbie Hide, among others.
However, the oldest of the four belts that Fury and Usyk will compete for is the WBA title, which was established more than 100 years ago.
The title was held for 12 years by Joe Louis, the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and who is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
Saudi Arabia has become a hub for premier world boxing contests over the past few years, with authorities investing heavily to bring the biggest bouts to local and international audiences.
Previous bouts in the country have garnered the attention of fans globally and marked the Kingdom as a new home of international boxing.


Saudia unites football, motorsport with displays in Newcastle, Berlin

Saudia unites football, motorsport with displays in Newcastle, Berlin
Updated 15 May 2024
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Saudia unites football, motorsport with displays in Newcastle, Berlin

Saudia unites football, motorsport with displays in Newcastle, Berlin
  • Kingdom’s flag carrier introduces fans to new Gen3 Formula E car at St. James’ Park
  • Immersive fan zone offers variety of interactive experiences during Berlin E-Prix

BERLIN/JEDDAH: Saudia, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has flown the new Gen3 Formula E car to St. James’ Park in the UK to coincide with Newcastle United’s final home game of the season.

The carrier has a strategic partnership with the Premier League club and is also the official airline partner of the all-electric Formula E series.

The event coincided with the release of a short film bringing together the worlds of motorsport and football, with football fans being introduced to Formula E and the car.

“This event provides a fantastic platform for us to engage with our guests and the global audience, whether in person or through our innovative digital portals,” Khaled Tash, Saudia Group’s chief marketing officer, said in the statement.

“Integrating our partnerships with both Newcastle United and Formula E in such an engaging manner exemplifies our commitment to bringing fans closer to the sports they love. Each year, we strive to elevate the experience for racegoers and fans worldwide, as part of our commitment to creating unforgettable memories wherever our brand is present.”

Saudia also hosted an immersive fan zone experience during the Berlin E-Prix on May 11-12 in Berlin.

Fans were given access to an E-Village, with a dedicated Discover-E Zone featuring a variety of interactive experiences, as well as games, competitions, and giveaways featuring both Saudia and Formula E merchandise.


Saudi team ready for World Para Athletics Championships in Japan

Saudi team ready for World Para Athletics Championships in Japan
Updated 13 May 2024
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Saudi team ready for World Para Athletics Championships in Japan

Saudi team ready for World Para Athletics Championships in Japan

DUBAI: The Saudi Paralympic team has set off for Kobe, in Japan, where they are competing in the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships.

The team’s preparations included extensive training sessions in both local and international camps.

The first phase took place in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman from March to April, while phase two was in Dubai and included the team’s participation in the Gulf Games.

The 11th edition of the World Para Athletics Championships begins today and runs until May 27. It is being held at the Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium, where more than 1,000 athletes from 100 nations will compete in 168 events.

The 2024 championships are the first to be held in East Asia and the third one in Asia, following Doha in 2015 and Dubai in 2019.