ABU DHABI: The UAE national team’s under-18 stars have taken 15 more medals to lead the Ju-Jitsu World Championship with 46 medals after an impressive display on day three of the Ju-Jitsu World Championship at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sport City.
The UAE leads the medal table with 46 podium finishes — 16 golds, 14 silvers, and 16 bronze medals — ahead of the Russian Jiu-Jitsu Federation team’s 36 medals, including 14 gold, 14 silver, and 8 bronze, with Kazakhstan in third place with 33 medals (7 gold, 6 silver, and 20 bronze).
The UAE under-18 athletes’ haul of seven gold, four silver and four bronze medals adds to the 14 medals won by the under-16 team on Sunday and the 17-medal haul claimed by the under-21 side on Monday. The record achievement has seen the UAE named the event’s best at both under-21 and under-18 level.
“The performance of every member of the team was extremely special today,” Ibrahim Al-Hosani, coach of the under-18 players, said. “The team fully deserved their medals, and those who did not make it to the podium should be very proud of themselves as they fought like warriors.
“Each and every one of them will learn something they can take forward to the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship next week,” he added. “The players who didn’t make it to the podium will learn from their defeat and the ones who made it had to battle against some quality opposition to get there — this is wonderful preparation.”
Gameah Al-Hammadi won the first of the UAE’s day three haul, with gold in the women’s -70kg category, with Sabah Al-Rasbi claiming bronze in the same division. Shamma Al-Mezaini also secured gold in the -40kg category, while Aysha Al-Shamsi came out on top in the -44kg division with Lolwa Al-Hosani alongside her on the podium after securing bronze.
Balqees Abdulkareem Abdulla followed their lead with gold in the -48kg category, with Muhrah Mahfoudh and Shamma Al-Nofeli claiming silver and bronze in the -70kg division.
Abdulla said: “This was a great achievement to win gold and it was an honour to represent the UAE. I would like to dedicate this win to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al-Ketbi, she is our role model and inspiration.”
The UAE’s under-18 male athletes were also impressive on the mats. Mohammed Talal Salem Al-Kaabi got their first medal of the day with gold in the -46kg category, getting the better of Mohammed Saeed Binhajar Mohammed Al-Shehhi in an all-UAE final.
The -55kg category also saw an all-Emirati final, with Mohammed Saeed Ali Buqhaid Al-Ketbi getting the better of teammate Zayed Thani Hayee Binzayoud Al-Shamsi in a tight encounter.
Saif Al-Mansoori picked up silver in the -81kg division, while Suhail Ismail Torkman secured a deserved bronze in the -50kg division. Faraj Khaled Al-Awlaqi added to the UAE haul with the final gold of the day in the -73kg category.
He said: “I’m honoured to win gold and I could not have done this without the dedication and the efforts of the federation and the coaching team.
“We are working with the best technical teams to prepare for this incredible opportunity to represent our country,” he added. “Now that I have won gold, which was my ambition, I will prepare immediately for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship later this month.”