Countdown begins for launch of Kingdom’s biggest national sports event

eshrag News:

RIYADH: The countdown for the launch of the inaugural Saudi Games, the country’s biggest national sporting event, has begun.

Preparations are underway for the games, which take place in the Saudi capital between Oct. 27 and Nov. 7.

More than 6,000 athletes representing 200 clubs and competing in 45 events are participating. The 45 individual and team events include five Paralympic sports.

Sports Minister and the president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said task forces had been set up to make the games a success.

Prince Abdulaziz said: “Two months from now, all eyes will be on Riyadh with the launching of the Saudi Games. We want this event to be exceptional and exceed all expectations in a way that befits the Kingdom’s stature and its great people and reflects its capabilities allowing it to host and organize one of the biggest sports events in the world.

“As we seek to achieve organizational excellence, task forces intensified the pace of their preparations to ensure their continuation at the highest levels so the event can reach excellence, similar to other big events hosted by the Kingdom.

“Auditions in all regions and cities of the Kingdom have witnessed strong competition and resulted in many promising Saudi talents that are likely to deliver a high-level performance during the tournament’s competitions. We look forward to the public support for athletes during the competitions in a way that contributes to achieving the desired goals of hosting the Saudi Games.”

Athletes will compete for cash prizes totaling more than SR200 million ($53 million). Gold medal winners will each receive SR1 million. Silver medalists will get SR300,000, and bronze medalists will win SR100,000.

Auditions are ongoing until Sept. 10 to select athletes for the event.

The Saudi Games include taekwondo, indoor rowing, tennis, bowling, weightlifting, wrestling, archery, badminton, skateboarding, Thai boxing, billiards, chess, squash, balut, sailing, and climbing.

The 12-day competition aims to promote various sporting disciplines in the Kingdom and discover sporting talent from the grassroots under the Elite Athletes Program.

It also aims to improve the country’s capacity to organize events of this scale.

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