ASTANA: The UAE national jiu-jitsu team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, on Friday secured its fourth consecutive victory at the JJIF World Championship Youth.
Friday saw athletes compete in the U21 division and witnessed four all-Emirati finals, with the national team winning 15 medals, including seven gold, five silver and three bronze medals. This success brought the UAE’s medal count to an impressive 46, consisting of 15 gold, 12 silver and 19 bronze medals.
The UAE had already won the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships for adults held in Mongolia in July.
In the women’s U21 division, Aysha Al-Shamsi (45 kg), Balqees Al-Hashemi (48 kg) and Shamma Al-Kalbani (63 kg) secured gold medals, while Sara Al-Hammadi (45 kg) and Shamma Al-Blooshi (48 kg) received silver medals.
“Winning the gold medal at the World Championships makes me really happy,” said Al-Shamsi. “I had to work really hard and listen to my coach to beat my opponents.”
For the men’s U21 division, Omar Al-Suwaidi (56 kg), Khaled Al-Shehhi (62 kg), Faraj Al-Awlaqi (77 kg) and Abdulrahman Al-Shimmari (85 kg) all earned gold medals. In the same division, Mahdi Al-Awlaqi (77 kg), Saeed Hamad Taufiq Al-Kubaisi (85 kg) and Fahad Al-Hammadi (69 kg) won silver medals. Amaar Al-Hosani (94 kg), Saud Al-Hosani (62 kg) and Sultan Hassan (69 kg) claimed bronze medals.
Al-Shehhi said: “I can’t describe how happy I am to win two gold medals in Kazakhstan and Mongolia in just one month. These wins show that hard work, determination and not giving up are so important. Even though the fights were tough, we never stopped trying.”
Mohamed Salem Al-Dhaheri, deputy chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and head of the delegation to Kazakhstan, praised the team’s achievements and credited the success to the support of the country’s leadership.
“The excellent performance displayed by our athletes today is a testament to the effectiveness of our comprehensive and consistent success strategy, which involves the players, the technical staff and the federation’s dedicated team,” Al-Dhaheri said. “They have shouldered the responsibility and met the high expectations set for them.
“Their well-deserved victory in the U18 and U21 categories underscore their competence and dedication. We take pride in this exceptional generation of champions, who consistently bring honor to our nation by showcasing their skills on the global stage.”
Mubarak Al-Menhali, director of the Technical Department at the federation, commended the displays of the players in the face of a formidable lineup of international champions.
“Our athletes have secured 46 medals, a substantial lead over other teams that secured lower ranks,” he said. “The challenges presented in the competitions were undoubtedly formidable, yet our champions exemplified outstanding patience, persistence and unwavering professionalism throughout each match.”
“The World Championship demands diverse techniques and strategic approaches due to the elevated skill levels of the participants. This necessitates meticulous planning and training by the federation and the technical team. Our players have embraced innovative techniques, refined their skills and adopted sophisticated technical strategies. Their resolute adherence to these strategies enabled them to triumph over every challenge they encountered,” he added.
Balqees Al-Hashemi, who secured gold in the final match of the 48 kg category, said: “I can’t put into words how amazing it feels to win and to have the national flag around me. I want to congratulate my teammates, and I’m really proud of how well we did in the whole tournament.
“I want to dedicate this significant win to our wise leaders and the people of the Emirates. Additionally, to all the Emirati women who have achieved amazing things in various fields. They serve as great examples for women all around the world.”