UAE athletes celebrate with their medals after their victory at the 5th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championships in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE national jiu-jitsu team produced an excellent performance at the 5th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championships in Abu Dhabi to finish top of the medal table with 18 medals, compromising four gold, four silver and 10 bronze.
The UAE national team, which included athletes new to international competition, was put through an intensive training programme in the lead-up to the championship.
But the hard work paid off and followed a strong performance from the men’s team at the Miami Grand Slam back in July, where they captured 13 medals.
The Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship brought together the continent’s best at Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena and the UAE reveled on their home mats, finishing ahead of Kazakhstan, who finished second in the medals table with two gold, three silver and three bronze.
Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, highlighted that hosting the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi has strengthened the UAE capital’s position and readiness to host international events in a safe and secure environment: “The UAE is at the forefront of Asian countries in leading the recovery of sports from the pandemic, and holding the fifth edition of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship is a true testament of Abu Dhabi’s readiness to host world-class events. Welcoming the championships also confirmed Abu Dhabi’s stature as the global capital of jiu-jitsu.
“This championship was an ideal platform for the national team players to prepare for the upcoming World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, from Oct.28 to Nov.7, and the 13th edition of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, as the players can look at their performance and assess both their strengths and weaknesses.
UAE jiu-jitsu national team head coach Ramon Lemos praised his team's performance, adding: “We have chosen some new names to participate in this championship and we are confident that these talents will be the mainstay of the team in the coming years.
“The female players performed outstandingly, despite their bouts with more experienced players. They were brilliant on the mat, and they have a promising future in the sport.
Theyab Al Nuaimi, who captured gold for the UAE, said: “The UAE national team is the winner, and we are proud of what the sport of jiu-jitsu has reached in the UAE.
"The qualifying matches were difficult, especially as they included varying weights and physical differences between the players, but I was able to use my skills to bypass them and take the gold medal.”
Shamsa Al Ketbi, who captured the bronze medal in the women’s under-70kg category, said that her experience in the Asian Championship was a milestone in her jiu-jitsu career: “I aimed at the gold, but the difference in experience between me and the players I faced was enormous.
However its all a learning curve and simply participating in the continental championship is a gain, whether winning or losing, because of the benefit it.
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