DUBAI: The UAE national jiu-jitsu team returned home to a warm welcome after competing successfully at the 11th edition of the World Games in the US.
The competition, which took place in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the most important global multi-sport events in the world. The Emirati squad was greeted at the airport by a delegation headed by Dr. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, UAE minister of state for foreign trade.
The UAE grapplers won five medals at the championship, with Faisal Al-Ketbi winning gold in the 85 kilogram and open weight categories, and Mohammed Al-Suwaidi taking home silver in the 69 kilogram division. Shamma Al-Kalbani became the first Emirati female athlete to clinch a medal at the World Games, winning two bronze medals in the 63 kilogram and open weight categories.
“You set a role model for future generations that seek glory,” said Al-Zeyoudi while congratulating the athletes on their achievements. “The secret behind the UAE jiu-jitsu team’s success in winning world championships like this is having a great vision, long-term strategic planning, and limitless support from the leadership.”
Mohammed Salem Al-Dhaheri, vice chairperson of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, was among the officials at the airport. “The visionary leadership that believes in the outstanding qualities and capabilities of our players and their steadfast determination of not giving up is the reason behind every significant victory and strategic gain for our country’s sport,” he said.
Al-Ketbi was delighted at the reception. “These are joyous moments that we will always cherish. I want to dedicate this success to the wise leadership for their ongoing support of sportsmen and sports as well as the UAEJJF and the chairman, His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al-Hashemi.”
“The achievement in Birmingham was the result of our continuous work for five years, specifically after achieving the gold medal in Warsaw in 2017.”
Ramon Lemos, coach of the team, said: “The victory at the World Games was a direct result of their meticulous training. The winning mentality of the players gave them an advantage on the mats.”