BANGKOK: The UAE national jiu-jitsu team kicked off the Thailand Open Grand Prix 2023 in style with 15 medals on day one of the competition in Bangkok.
The team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, secured seven gold, five silver, and three bronze medals.
Balqis Abdul Karim kickstarted the UAE’s medal campaign by winning gold in the 45-kilogram category. She was soon joined on the podium by Hamda Al-Shukaili (48 kilogram), Asma Al-Hosani (52 kilogram), Shamsa Al-Amri (57 kilogram), Theyab Alnuaimi (56 kilogram), Khaled Alshehhi (62 kilogram), and Mohammed Alsuwaidi (69 kilogram) — all contributing to the UAE’s gold medal tally.
Additionally, Aisha Al-Shamsi (45 kilogram), Hessa Al-Shamsi (52 kilogram), Omar Alsuwaidi (56 kilogram), Fahad Alhammadi (69 kilogram), and Mahdi Alawlaqi (77 kilogram) secured silver medals, further showcasing the UAE’s strength on the podium. Sarah Shams Al-Hammadi (48 kilogram), Muhammad Al-Awlaki (77 kilogram), and Sultan Jabr (69 kilogram) won bronze medals.
Mubarak Al-Menhali, director of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s technical department, praised the performance of the team and staff.
“Our athletes face each tournament with the utmost professionalism and responsibility, embracing the winning mentality and the spirit of victory. They diligently execute the instructions provided by the technical staff, showcasing high efficiency in managing their fights. They firmly believe that representing the UAE in international competitions must leave a mark that reflects our journey towards global leadership.”
He said the performance in Bangkok was good preparation for upcoming global competitions, especially the World Championships in Mongolia and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
Ramon Lemos, the head coach of the UAE team, praised the athletes. “The results achieved by the national team in continental and international championships reflect the continuous development and global leadership of the UAE in the jiu-jitsu global arena.”
“In every tournament we participate in, we are eager to introduce new talents who astound us with their performance and ability to compete at the highest levels. All of this is a testament to the successful strategy implemented by the federation to discover talents, refine their capabilities, and improve their technical and physical aspects,” he added.
Muhammad Ali Al-Suwaidi, who won gold in the 69-kilogram category, said: “I put in double the effort for this championship and made a promise to myself to exchange the silver I achieved in Paris for gold in Bangkok. We are still at the beginning of our journey, and we have many upcoming events ahead of us.”
Hamda Al-Shukaili, the champion in the 48-kilogram category, said: “Today’s outcomes are undoubtedly the results of consistent training, participation in numerous camps and tournaments, and making the most of the opportunities provided by the federation. I would like to express my gratitude to the UAEJJF and Mubadala for their unwavering support for the team.”
Source : Arab News