Kirbi, Kaabi bag golds as UAE finish with rich haul of 52 medals - GulfToday

Kirbi, Kaabi bag golds as UAE finish with rich haul of 52 medals


Winners pose on the podium on the last day of the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in Abu Dhabi.

A glut of medals for the UAE marked the final day of the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2019 with Talib Al Kirbi and Obaid Al Kaabi winning Gold in the Masters category at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Khalid Al Kaabi, Ibrahim Abdulla, and Humaid Al Blooshi clinched Silver medals for the UAE while Wael Al Naqbi, Mohammed Al Shehhi, Rashed Al Naqbi, and Mubarak Jassem won Bronze medals, bringing the UAE’s total tally in the Masters category to nine medals at this year’s World Championship.

The Jiu-Jitsu World Championship 2019, organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation and hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, concluded on Sunday.

The two Gold medals for the UAE were won in the Masters one and two categories in the 69 kg weight class.

Khalid Al Kaabi earned a Silver medal in the Masters 2 +94 kg division as did Ibrahim Abdulla in the Masters 2 94 kg class along with Blooshi in the Masters 4 69 kg class.

Naqbi won the Bronze medal in the Masters 1 69 kg category, joining him in winning Bronze medals were Shehhi in the Masters 2 +94 kg category, Naqbi in the Masters 2 94 kg division, and Jassem in the Masters 3 77 kg category.

Kirbi, the 2018 Asian Games Silver medalist in the 69 kg, put up a peerless performance in the Masters 1 69 kg category, with his technical finesse propelling to the Gold medal without running into much resistance.

The 2019 Jiu-Jitsu World Championship was Kirbi’s debut in the Masters category and he made sure to announce his arrival in style. Kaabi, the UAE’s second Gold medalist of the day, also put up a strong performance in the Masters 2 69 kg class, breezing through the field to end up on the top step of the podium.

“Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that is extremely close to my heart and when the UAEJJF asked me whether I would like to represent the country in the Masters category, I had no hesitation in agreeing. The feeling of representing your country in a tournament as prestigious as the World Championship is a privilege not accorded to a lot of people and I am glad I could justify the faith the UAEJJF put in me by earning a Gold for the UAE,” said Kirbi.

Kaabi, a decorated Jiu-Jitsu athlete who has represented the UAE with distinction at several international competitions said that the Masters category was a great way to keep in touch with the sport and also to maintain the competitive spirit of the sport.

“Today’s competition was a really great experience for me and winning the Gold medal for the UAE made it even more special. Jiu-Jitsu has given me so much in terms of physical and mental well-being and getting the chance to compete on the mat is something that I am really thankful for,” he said.

‘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.

Katheeri and Fadhli won Gold medals in the 56 kg and 62 kg category respectively on Saturday.

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).

“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.

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