UAE women's jiu-jitsu team coach Lago keen to build on strong foundations of record-breaking year - GulfToday

UAE women's jiu-jitsu team coach Lago keen to build on strong foundations of record-breaking year


Women's athletes surged to prominence in 2021, with a raft of medals in international championships.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Last year was a game changer for jiu-jitsu in the UAE, with more homegrown talent competing, and winning in local and international events on mats.

UAE athletes claimed 71 medals from two international championships in the second half of 2021, with glory coming at the 5th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship and the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

The record year was amplified by the rise of the UAE’s women’s team, who claimed 9 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in November.

Following a hugely successful 2021, Polyana Lago, coach of the UAE National Women’s Jiu-Jitsu team, is looking for her players to use their success as a springboard to even more glory in 2022.

“We enter the new season with great ambitions after an impressive season and great achievements last year, said the 41-year-old, who only started working with the women’s team in the summer of 2021.

“We actually had two really excellent weeks; we were confined to a hotel and were able to train together; it was a good experience for each of us.

“We had a fantastic season last year; our women champions put in an outstanding performance, particularly at the World Championship, when they won a total of 25 medals. Some of the girls did really well,” she added.

Lago believes that the new format of the Mother of the Nation Jiu-Jitsu League helped the UAE's national women's team achieve the historic feat.

“It (the change in match structure) contributed significantly to the championship's outstanding results last year, as well as making it more professional. We were able to determine other national team talents as a result of the event,” she explained.

She has high hopes for the 2022 season, with her athletes participating in a host of major events including the Mother of the Nation Cup, Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup, and Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and revealed she is working on key areas of development with her players.

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