UAE youngster Omar Al Fadhli impresses once again with gold

Denzil Pinto 18/04/2017
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Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan (third l) with medalists at the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Omar Al Fadhli showed why he’s so highly rated by the UAE senior national team’s coaching staff with an outstanding display to claim gold in the Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Al Fadhli, who at 16 became the youngest member to represent his country last year, defeated compatriot Hamad Nawad in the Blue Juvenile 55kg division.

The manner of victory was even more special considering his final was watched by Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation during the official opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC).

“It was a very good fight and thank God I ended it in one choke from the back,” said Al Fadhli, 17.

“It was an amazing win and all my focus was on the fight. To win my first world gold was really special and it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Meanwhile, for the Al Hanaei family there was real reason to celebrate after sisters Mahra and Hana shone and Maha still to compete.

Mahra, 16, needed just 56 seconds to overcome fellow countrywoman Sharifa Mubarak for the 52kg female blue belt gold. She followed in the footsteps of younger sister Hana, who won on Sunday, while her eldest sister Maha will be aiming to complete a hat-trick in the adults division.

“I fought with Mubarak before and so I knew how she would compete,” said Mahra. “Hana and I managed to clinch gold and Inshallah, it will huge for our family and the UAE if Maha goes and wins gold in her category. We will be behind her all the way.”

Meanwhile, on the first day of the ADWPJJC, there was disappointment for Khalifa Al Nassrati, who had to settle for silver after being beaten by his “good friend” Gilgamesh Blanch for the second consecutive year.

The 18-year-old lost on advantage point by the Australian in the 56kg blue division but he had no complaints in defeat.

“The best man won,” said Nassrati, who has deformities with his fingers on his left hand. “I lost to my friend and he’s a good fighter and an awesome guy. I respect him a lot and it was a pleasure to have fought against him.”

For Blanch, it was strange to compete against someone he has known now for a long time.

“It’s difficult to fight someone who is your friend,” he said. “You want the best for them and all the challenges he’s gone through is incredible. We stay in touch on social media and whenever we meet in the future, we’ll continue to be close friends.”

In other results, Roosevelt Sousa ensured he had a triumphant return back to Brazil after claiming 110kg gold in the blue belt division.

“It’s absolutely incredible to win here on my first international competition,” he said. “I hope this will be the start of more.”

Luiz Medeiros and Rashid Kaitmazov of Russia won the blue 69 and 77kg categories respectively.

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IN PICS: Jiu-Jitsu youth festival comes to a close in Abu Dhabi

Sport360 staff 17/04/2017
It's been a great week of action.

The final day of Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship came to a close Monday at the IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City.

Part of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship which runs until April 22, the championship was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The second day of action saw boys aged between 10 -17 years old take to the mats of the IPIC Arena.

It followed on from the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival that all last week welcomed hundreds upon hundreds of young players through the doors of the IPIC Arena. Here, we share with you some of the best pictures from the week-long action in the UAE capital.

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Duchscherer finds comfort in jiu-jitsu after losing his leg and his wife

Denzil Pinto 15/04/2017
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Stacy Duchscherer (in blue) competes at the Abu Dhabi World Para-Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Stacy Duchscherer will look back at his silver medal with great pride – but the experience of competing in the Abu Dhabi World Para-Jit-Jitsu Championship brought to fruition the reality that he has a future in the sport following an emotional journey of self discovery.

The Canadian, 50, has had to face the challenges of being disabled after his left leg was amputated during a work accident when he was just 20 years old. Understandably, it was an incident which left him reeling internally.

“I was pretty devastated at the time,” he recalled. “I was 20 years old and you look at it like your

morale has changed and think that I can’t do that or this. I lived like that for a while. Then you start realising that you can do all these things but you just have to look at it differently.”

He did exactly that and looked at life in a positive way. He got married and found a new love for jiu-jitsu after being introduced to the sport by his 15-year-old son Ryan (who will compete in the Abu Dhabi World Youth Cup on Monday) four years ago.

“My first impressions (of jiu-jitsu) was hell no,” he said. “There was no way I could do that. But just watching my son do it, it looked so beautiful. At first I thought everybody would be full of egos but that’s not the way it is. They (coaches) help you do it and want you to do well. They all want to make it work. It’s overwhelming and often brought me to tears because I’ve never experienced anything in my life in what I’ve done during my life so far.”

In his short career so far, he’s tested himself against some of Canada’s best but was yet to compete on the world stage until the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) came knocking, inviting Stacy to the Para-Worlds and Ryan to the Abu Dhabi World Youth Cup.

At first, Stacy was contemplating whether to make the long 17-hour flight from North America especially as the competition came 12 months after his wife Tina passed away following a battle with terminal brain cancer.

“I was still in mourning when I was asked whether I’d be interested in coming to Abu Dhabi or not,” said the
father of three. “I wasn’t eating much and I wasn’t training as much as I could. I was falling into much of a depression because of my wife’s death.

“Before she passed away, we raised enough money to send Ryan to California for the Kids Worlds. But she had a seizure and then died 11 days later. We didn’t know what was happening because we didn’t know she had cancer.

“Myself and Ryan went and he won silver in Non-Gi and Gi events. And those medals were for her. She was a huge and big figure in my life. Of course we had our ups and down as what every marriage does but I’m grateful to have the kids (Ryan, Jamie, 17 and Sheniah 23) that I have today.

“The Abu Dhabi World Para-Jiu-Jitsu couldn’t have come at a better time and my daughter (Jamie) said for us to go. We wouldn’t have been able to come here if it wasn’t for her.”


He added: “This is the World Para Jiu-Jitsu Championship and this is the biggest of them all. Abu Dhabi is so beautiful and I didn’t envisage it in my head.

“The experience of competing was such a blast. I thought I would retire from competing and just train after the championship but I’m looking forward to next year. This has pushed me to train harder and there’s no way I’m walking from it. I will continue this ride and take it wherever it takes us.”

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