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In 1st, Saudi Arabia to host series of wrestling events

Saudi Arabia is set to host a series of highly popular wrestling competitions for the first time in its history.

The Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday that Turki al-Sheikh, chairman of the Saudi General Sport Authority, had inked a deal with Vince McMahon, head of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Inc., to hold a series of highly-popular wrestling competitions in the kingdom over the next 10 years.

According to the agreement, the events will feature a number of internationally recognized wrestlers and celebrities.

The deal was signed only days after the sport authority organized Saudi Arabia’s first-ever men’s marathon, in which about 28,000 runners -- including both Saudi citizens and foreign residents -- took part.

In May, the Saudi city of Jeddah is set to host the World Boxing Super Series, a major boxing competition.

The Saudi authorities have recently abandoned several longstanding social restrictions, including bans on public cinemas and prohibiting women from driving.

Reporting by Ahmed al-Masri:Writing by Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg