VIDEO: Two-good Zayed Al Katheeri, Omar Al Fadhli bring double delight to UAE in Jiu-Jitsu World Championship - GulfToday

VIDEO: Two-good Zayed Al Katheeri, Omar Al Fadhli bring double delight to UAE in Jiu-Jitsu World Championship


UAE's Omar Al Fadhli celebrates at the podium after winning gold in 62 kg category.

Zayed Al Katheeri and Omar Al Fadhli won gold medals for the UAE in the 56 kg and 62 kg category respectively on Saturday at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2019 at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.

“The next generation has risen, and in style!” were the first words out of UAE Jiu-Jitsu National Team’s head coach Ramon Lemos’ mouth, a satisfied smile planted wide across his face, as he saw Katheeri and Fadhli proudly pose with their gold medals.

While Katheeri and Fadhli both had the shiny gold medals around their necks, the two athletes earned their rewards in contrasting styles. Katheeri was utterly dominant through the day, blazing past opponents from Iran, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan. Facing Saudi Arabia’s Faris Kashmeeri in the final, Katheeri took just under two minutes to wrap up the fight, trapping the Saudi athlete in a perfect pincer move to force submission.

Fadhli successfully breezed past the challenges of his opponents from Mongolia and Canada before running into France’s Anthony De Oliveira in the semifinal of the 62 kg category. Emerging victorious from a bruising encounter, Fadhli had to contend with not just Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Nortayev in the final but also an injury that he sustained to his left arm during his semifinal duel.

Fadhli though, the defending champion in the 62 kg category, used all his experience and nous, keeping the Kazakh at a safe distance, frustrating his attacking forays, and then forcing him into mistakes which he was quick to exploit to add another World Championship medal to what is fast becoming a burgeoning trophy cabinet.


Zayed Al Katheeri (second left) celebrates with his gold medals won during the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2019 at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Interestingly, Katheeri emulated teammate Fadhli in clinching the gold in both the under-21 category and the adult’s category. The 19-year-old was crowned the winner in the under-21 category’s 56 kg division last week and said that winning two gold medals in the space of a week was an extremely incredible feeling.

“Right from the first time I stepped on the mat today, I was absolutely clear about my strategy. The coaching team and I had worked hard on analyzing my opponents and how to best counter them. I am extremely proud to have won two gold medals for my country and these would not be possible without the UAEJJF’s constant support, their ability to provide us with the right facilities and coaching, and the support of all the people in this arena who gave me a huge boost with their energy,” said Katheeri.

For Fadhli, capturing gold medals has become a habit and he was in no mood to give up at the Mubadala Arena. Immediately after having won the under-21 Gold in the 62 kg category, Fadhli had said, “we are not here to compete. We are here to take over and take the UAE to the top”.

The 19-year-old delivered handsomely on his promise, adding a fourth World Championship gold medal to his kitty (two under-21, two adult’s).

“I was completely focused on executing my plan. Before my first bout, I had visualised where I wanted to be. The top step of the podium was my target, that was where I wanted to reach and achieving that goal has given me a lot of satisfaction. More than the happiness of winning the Gold, it is the sheer joy of seeing the UAE’s flag rise the highest that gives me the greatest satisfaction,” he said.

At the end of a successful World Championship campaign, one in which the UAE Jiu-Jitsu National Team took home three gold medals, head coach Lemos is an excited man.

“This tournament and the performance of our athletes here has shown me that we have taken the next step. The next generation is ready for the pressures of international competitions and is capable of winning. Both Zayed and Omar are a perfect example of having developed that hunger, skill, talent, and determination that is needed for consistent international success and that makes me happy. The UAEJJF’s long-term vision and its well-rounded training programme are bearing results and helping us make the UAE proud on the international stage,” said Lemos.

The Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2019 has been organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation and has been hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF).


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