Seventeen-year-old Sude Yaren Uzunçavdar, right, beat Bianca Walkden to win the World Taekwondo Grand Prix ©World Taekwondo

Seventeen-year-old Sude Yaren Uzunçavdar underscored her status as a star of the present as well as the future with victory at the final of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix.

The Turkish athlete overcame three-time world champion Bianca Walkden of Britain in a tight women's over-67 kilograms final, edging ahead in the decisive third round.

Whereas it is the biggest win of Uzunçavdar's career, other victors in Riyadh were household names, including women's under-49kg queen Panipak Wongpattanakit.

The Thai Olympic champion was too good for Turkey's Merve Dinçel, the new European champion, to handle.

There was also Turkish representation in the women's under-57kg final, but again disappointment, as China's world champion Zongshi Luo saw off Hatice Kübra İlgün.

In the women's under-67kg final, former world champion Zhang Mengyu - also Chinese - was outclassed by Jordan's Asian Games gold medallist Julyana Al-Sadeq.

Jordan was the only nation with two athletes atop the podium today as Zaid Kareem triumphed in the men's under-68kg.

Kareem was taken to three rounds by Uzbekistan's reigning Olympic gold medallist Ulugbek Rashitov, but won the decider via a strong finish.

Ivorian former Olympic champion Cheick Sallah Cissé was giving up 20kg to Mexican opponent Carlos Sansores, but still won the men's heavyweight final.

Zaid Kareem was one of two winners from Jordan ©World Taekwondo
Zaid Kareem was one of two winners from Jordan ©World Taekwondo

In a rematch of a Tokyo 2020 semi-final, Jang Jun got a semblance of revenge.

The South Korean beat Tunisia's Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi in a tight men's under-58kg final.

Italian Simone Alessio also tasted gold today, beating South Korea's Seo Geon-woo in the men's under-80kg final.

Staging the climax of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix is the latest example of Saudi Arabia aggressively pursuing hosting sporting events.

This includes next year's World Combat Games in Riyadh, where taekwondo will be on the programme.

After the World Combat Games, Saudi Arabia is due to stage the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2025 and later the Asian Games in 2034, plus the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a resort which has not yet been built.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of sportswashing and seeking to accrue soft power through these actions because of its inglorious record on human rights, which ranges from severely restricting press and women's freedoms to leading a coalition which has carried out deadly airstrikes across Yemen since 2015.