ABU DHABI: Following their 10-medal haul at the Asian Games, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu National Team are seeking a repeat performance in Riyadh at the World Combat Games from Oct. 24 to 26.
The team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment, comprises five athletes: Omar Al-Suwaidi (56 kg), Khaled Al-Shehhi (62 kg), Saeed Al-Kubaisi (85 kg), Abdullah Al-Kubaisi (94 kg), and Hessa Al-Shamsi (52 kg).
The tournament features 16 different combat sports and martial arts disciplines, including jiu-jitsu.
Fahad Al-Shamsi, secretary-general of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said he was looking forward to the contest: “The World Combat Games provide another exceptional opportunity for the UAE national team to demonstrate its mastery of the sport and test their skills in preparation for the upcoming competitions and consolidate their continental and global leadership in the sport. We have full faith in the capabilities of our athletes to excel and bring pride to our nation once again.
“As we all know, the team has enjoyed an exceptional season, marked by victories at the Asian Championship in Thailand, the World Championships held in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, as well as the Grand Prix events in Thailand and Paris. This presents yet another opportunity for them to perform exceptionally and solidify their global dominance in the sport. I can’t wait to see them step onto the mats and raise our UAE national flag high.”
Ramon Lemons, head coach of the UAE team, said he expects top performances from the athletes: “Our boys and girls have been performing exceptionally well, and I have full confidence that they will continue to do their best. The team maintains a dedicated approach to their training, regardless of the scale of the event, and the World Combat Games are no exception.
“We have selected a group of the strongest and most prepared players for this tournament, and I have complete confidence in the ability of our heroes and heroines to deliver exceptional performances as we have always known them to do, and we are very much looking forward to adding a new title to our coffers.”
Al-Shehhi, who won gold at the Asian championships, said: “This is an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss. It’s a new championship, and I wanted to test my skills against some of the world’s best athletes. The timing of the World Combat Games is perfect, which falls just a week before the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, allowing me to assess my abilities against top-tier competition.”
Al-Suwaidi and Saeed Al-Kubaisi will compete first for the UAE on Tuesday.