Othman Al-Mulla praised the Saudi Games for providing a platform for athletes ©Saudi Games

Saudi Games bronze medallist Othman Al-Mulla, who is also Saudi Arabia's first and only professional golfer, has heaped praise on the multi-sport event for providing a platform for athletes to display their talent.

The Saudi Games has brought together a roster of 45 sports - five of which are Paralympic - for a singular event in Riyadh.

In an interview with insidethegames, Al-Mulla explained that the competition - which is being staged for the first time - has uniquely galvanised Saudi athletes.

"The Saudi Games has been a beautiful celebration of the talented men and women in Saudi Arabia," the 36-year-old said.

"Every sport individually competes regionally and internationally with only the biggest success stories being shared.

"However, with the Saudi Games, it's a celebration of Saudi sports and a showcase of the great potential the athletes have.

"I think the Games will be a big boost for all the athletes and lead to greater successes abroad very soon."

Al-Mulla, who competed on the Middle Eastern and North Africa Tour, has been among the excess of 6,000 athletes to compete in the event.

Othman Al-Mulla won a bronze medal at the Saudi Games ©Saudi Games
Othman Al-Mulla won a bronze medal at the Saudi Games ©Saudi Games

Golf was unsurprisingly selected for the programme following Saudi Arabia's commitment to establishing greater influence in the sport.

Al-Mulla explained that Saudi Arabia possessed five golf courses prior to the launch of Vision 2030 in 2017.

Two years later, Golf Saudi was established as a division of the nation's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and, according to its website, is an organisation dedicated to providing golfing opportunities in the country and to "unite experienced stakeholders" to further its position worldwide.

It also operates alongside the Saudi Golf Federation with Yasir Al-Rumayyan chairing both bodies.

Last year, the controversial PIF-backed LIV Golf was formally launched and has since disrupted the sport's landscape with many of the biggest names flocking from the PGA Tour.

It has drawn critics to say Saudi Arabia is using it for sportswashing and acquiring soft power, with the country's record of severally restricting women's rights and free speech, making homosexuality a criminal offence and its leading role in a coalition that has carried out deadly airstrikes across Yemen since 2015 all coming under the spotlight.

However, such concerns have not prevented golfing events to be held in the country.

The LIV Golf Invitational in Jeddah is among the golf events to be held in Saudi Arabia this year ©Getty Images
The LIV Golf Invitational in Jeddah is among the golf events to be held in Saudi Arabia this year ©Getty Images

The Asian Tour's Saudi International, Ladies European Tour's Saudi Ladies International and the LIV Golf Invitational in Jeddah are among those to be staged this year.

Al-Mulla suggested that, through Vision 2030, the course of Saudi golf and sport in general has been transformed.

"Vision 2030 has been a game changer for many different aspects of the country and sport is one of the biggest affected," he remarked.

"Sportsmen and sportswomen across the country have been given access to world class competition and access to better coaching.

"This, in turn, has led to some amazing stories developing across Saudi sports."

He continued: "I'm super confident in Saudi golf's future.

"We have already seen a lot of success with many events being hosted in the country for the male and female game."