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Jiu-jitsu: future of UAE is bright with youth athletes’ show at Asian Championship

Jiu-jitsu: future of UAE is bright with youth athletes’ show at Asian Championship
10 May 2024 10:24

Abu Dhabi (Aletihad)

After six days of intense competition featuring both youth and adult athletes, the eighth Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship drew to a close with the UAE, the host country, clinching an impressive haul of 59 medals, including 41 medals in youth competition and 18 in adults. Emirati athletes added four gold medals to their overall haul on the final day of the tournament.

The hosts had a great outing throughout the event at Mubadala Arena from May 3-8, the last three days of which were dedicated to the youth age categories of Under-16, U18 and U21. It marked the first Jiu-Jitsu Asian Youth Championship.

The national team amassed 41 medals in the youth competitions, including 11 gold, eight silver, and 22 bronze. In the adult category, they had a haul of 18 medals (six gold, seven silver, and five bronze).

Besides the four gold medals in the U21 competitions, there were four silvers and five bronze medals which were won by Emirati players.

Aysha Al Shamsi (-45kg), Faisal Al Wahedi (-69kg), Faraj Al Awlaqi (-85kg), and Amaar Al Hosani (-94kg) clinched gold on Wednesday. Mariam Al Ali (-45kg), Shamma Al Blooshi (-48kg), Muhrah Mahfoudh (-63kg), and Fahad Al Hammadi (-77kg) joined them on the podium with silver, while Sara Al Otaiba (+70kg), Balqees Al Hashemi (48kg), Alanood Al Hosani (-57kg), Rashid Al Shehhi (-56kg), and Sultan Hassan (-69kg) grabbed bronze.

His Excellency Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, extended gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, for his patronage of the championship.

Hailing the Championship which “reflects the collective efforts of athletes, the technical staff, and coaches”, Al Dhaheri commended the domestic players. “Our national team champions lived up to expectations. We are confident that this young generation will perform well and will continue their journey of achievements.”

Mahesa Arba, Vice Secretary-General for the Indonesia Jiu-Jitsu Federaon, appreciated the organisers for an event on par with global standards. “We came here for the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship with just seven athletes, and our experiences have been really good. We are focused on the youth athletes and hope that in the next few years, we can have more athletes who win medals at major competitions.”

“Jiu-Jitsu is experiencing rapid growth in Indonesia. Since the Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games, there have been multiple local jiu-jitsu championships organised in the country. This is overwhelming. We are also working closely with the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union to bring a regional event to Bali, which I believe will further promote the sport in the country.”

Emirati Faisal Alwahedi, the Under-69kg gold medallist, said: “It’s tough to win gold in a tournament like this. I’m glad we could watch our teammates in different age groups and learn from them. Their competitions over the last five days really inspired our performance today.”

His compatriot and the Under-45kg gold winner Aysha Al Shamsi talked of how “winning a medal in your own country is an incredible feeling”.

Syria coach Abdullah Ayyash talked of the learning curve for his squad. “Our team is relatively new, but... our athletes have gained valuable experiences, particularly through their interactions with elite competitors. Being in Abu Dhabi, the world capital of jiu-jitsu, has been a great opportunity for us, and we extend our gratitude to the UAE for its warm hospitality,” he said.

Agreed member Marwa Al Shalabi who won silver in the +70kg Jiu-Jitsu Contact female division. “I am overwhelmed by achieving silver for my country in this important tournament. Our experience in Abu Dhabi was very special; just competing in the UAE, which we consider our second homeland, is even more special.”

Elsewhere, Sungat Batyrbai of Kazakhstan, who won gold in the U21 Jiu-Jitsu Fighting male -85kg division, said: “Winning gold here is a dream come true. I’m so thrilled and proud to have made my country’s flag fly high. But I’m not stopping here; it’s time to prepare for what’s next. Competing against the best in Asia taught me a lot. I watched many games closely, learned new techniques, and gained valuable experience. This journey has just begun, there’s a long way to go.”


Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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