UAE national jiu-jitsu team grabs gold

Editorial | | Reading Time: 5:40 minutes

Dubai: The UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, got off to an impressive start on day one of the Grand Prix Paris Open 2023, securing six medals, including two golds, at the event organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation.

Khaled Al Shehhi and Omar Al Suwaidi shone for the UAE by winning gold in the 62 kg and 56 kg categories respectively. They were joined by Muhammad Ali Al-Suwaidi and Theyab Al-Nuaimi who won silver medals in the 69 kg and 56 kg categories while Shamma Al Kalbani and Sultan Jabr added to the UAE's medal tally by winning bronze medals in the 63 kg and 69 kg categories.

The UAE team’s impressive start puts them in a strong position going into the second day of the event, which features over 250 male and female players from 22 countries.

Commenting on the UAE national team’s performance, Mubarak Al Menhali, Director of the Technical Department at the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, praised the team’s excellent performance on Saturday and their ability to execute the plans and tactics developed with the technical staff, reflecting the country's leadership in the sport.

“The players of the national team showed great physical and mental presence during the competitions. They were able to outperform a group of experienced international players, reflecting their keenness and responsibility to continue their path of achievements. This path was started this year with their victory in the last Asian Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand in February,” Al Menhali added.

According to Al Menhali, all male and female national team players displayed a high performance level and most of them achieved a place on the podium. He noted that there is still an opportunity to increase the team's number of medals, as some champions will compete on the second day.

According to Ramon Lemos, the coach of the UAE national jiu-jitsu team, their strategy for international tournaments, such as the Grand Prix Paris Open, involves optimal preparation and engagement with elite players, which is crucial for their participation in upcoming events like the World Championships in Mongolia and the Asian Games in China.

“I am very pleased with the performance of the players on the first day of the competition. Although we missed out on two gold medals due to some minor issues, these tournaments are crucial in enhancing our players’ abilities and improving their focus when competing against experienced opponents, enabling us to press and subjugate them effectively.”

Omar Al Suwaidi, who achieved the 56 kg gold medal, said: “I am happy to achieve the gold medal and raise the UAE’s flag on the podium. The reason behind this achievement is the continuous work, systematic training and unlimited support from the wise leadership. There is no doubt that this victory will motivate us to provide more and follow the mentality of winning in the upcoming tournaments, and solidify UAE’s global dominance in the sport in this sport.”

Khaled Al-Shehhi, who won the 62 kg gold medal, attributed his success to teamwork, team spirit, and the great efforts made by the federation and the technical staff in qualifying, training, and providing camps to enhance the desired levels.

He added, “We have many important upcoming events, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour, the World Championship, and other significant competitions. Today's achievements will undoubtedly motivate us to perform well, and we are preparing rigorously to compete on multiple levels.”

Tariq Al Fahaam