UAE Jiu-Jitsu national team to compete in more tournaments ahead of 2018 Asian Games

Denzil Pinto 19:41 01/08/2017
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The UAE national team will step up their preparations for next year’s Asian Games by competing in multiple competitions after the new season calander was announced by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) yesterday.

The sport makes its debut in the Indonesia showpiece event a year from now, and with the UAEJJF wanting to make a big impression in Jakarta, they are leaving nothing to chance for their best fighters.

They have been entered in four global tournaments beginning with next week’s Asian Championships (August 11-13) in Vietnam, with their last event at November’s World Beach Championship in Colombia.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slams in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, London and Abu Dhabi will also serve as preparation, and Fahad Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, believes the number of tournaments will only aid the national team.

“We are giving full attention to our local events but, as a federation, we are also focused on our national team, because we have more than seven championships coming up this season,” said Al Shamsi, speaking at the calendar launch at Abu Dhabi’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.

“All these championships will be good preparation for the national team ahead of the Asian Games. We give a lot of opportunities for our young players with the aim to build a strong team behind our senior team.”

The country enjoyed success at the World Games in Poland after top-ranked Faisal Al Ketbi clinched gold and silver medals last week. And Al Shamsi believes Al Ketbi’s feat is further evidence that the UAE has what it takes to succeed.

“This is the highest level we have reached in the history of the sport in the UAE,” he said.

“In Asia we have won in the Beach Games and other championships but not in the World Games. These Games are hosted under the IOC and this will help in trying to get the sport to the Olympics. The level of the players was very high and this is very good for the development of the sport.”

While the focus will be on the national team, the UAEJJF’s calendar also consists of 17 domestic events beginning with this weekend’s opening round of the
Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup in Al Ain.

The Mother of Nations, open for females only, will now consist of three championships, while the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship will return for its 10th edition in April.

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