Members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu team celebrate with their medals after the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE clinched the 7th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship, which was held in Bangkok, reaffirming the nation’s continental dominance for the third consecutive year.
The national team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, was in flying form all through the event and displayed a high level of technical ability, grabbing a total of 16 medals including 7 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze.
The Philippines national team finished second with four gold medals and two bronze medals while South Korea came in third with one gold medal, three silver medals, and four bronze medals.
The UAE made a strong statement on Sunday, the first day of the team’s participation, by winning seven medals, which helped the defending champion’s championship run get off to a solid start.
Theyab Alnuaimi (56 kg), Mohamed Alsuwaidi (69 kg), and Faisal Alkitbi (85 kg) captured gold medals for the team on Day 1, while Omar Alsuwaidi (56kg), Marwa Alhosani (70 kg) and Saeed Alkubaisi (85 kg) added silvers. Balqees Abdulkareem earned bronze in the 48 kg division.
Omar Al Fadli gave a brilliant start for the team on Monday, scooping gold in the Adults 62 kg division in the all-Emirati final while Khaled Alshehhi picked up the silver. They were soon joined on the podium by Hamdah Al Shkeili with gold and Aysha Alshamsi with silver in 45 kg division.
Shamma Alkalbani downed Indonesia’s Ilma Yeni Megawati to retain her gold from last year in 63 kg class. Abdullah Alkubaisi followed in joining the success winning the gold in 94 kg division, while compatriot Hazaea Farhan scooped in the bronze. Making the falcons look even strong, the UAE’s Mahdi Alawlaqi added a bronze (77kg) to their tally.
Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Ju-Jitsu Union and Senior Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, congratulated the team for their remarkable performance. “We want to dedicate the championship win to the wise leadership of the UAE for their limitless support to the sports and athletes in the country,” he said.
Obaid Saeed Al Dhaheri, the UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, also congratulated them for the historic feat. His Excellency watched the competitions as the ‘falcons’ took to mats and encouraged them during the performances.
Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations said: “The team is moving in the right direction and their performance level is rising significantly. Asian Championship competitions are a great indicator of the team’s readiness for the World Championship in Mongolia and the Asian Games in China.”
Mubarak Al Menhali, Director of the UAEJJF’s Technical Department, said: “These kinds of accomplishments are not accidental; the team put in a lot of effort and deserved their victory. The coaching staff and players had a sense of teamwork, which can be credited for the performance. I want to congratulate everyone for the outstanding results.”
“I am absolutely delighted that I could finally put my hands on the gold medal at the Asian Championship,” said Abdullah Al Kubaisi, who cruised past Kim Hee Dong from the Republic of Korea to capture gold in the 94 kg division.
“I know this journey has not been easy, but we worked hard and here we are. Nothing matches to winning medals while representing your nation at an international competition. I want to express my gratitude to the UAEJJF officials, coaches, technical staff, and everyone else who supported us during our journey. We look forward to more success like this in the future.”
Elsewhere, Shamma said she is grateful for being capable of maintaining her medal from the previous championship edition. “Thank God, I was able to retain my gold medal from the 6th Asian Championship held in Bahrain. Overall, this championship was challenging, and we may have faced more strong opponents, but nothing can dent the UAE team’s resilience and self-assurance. As a team, we’re much more inspired to keep up the winning streak.”