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Lima confident of UAE Jiu Jitsu carrying on form

Coach reckons nation can overtake Brazil at their own game in the coming years

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE will be building on the Beach Games success in Danang, Vietnam, where UAE won nine medals — four gold, two silver and three bronze, revealed Jiu Jitsu coach Roberto Lima.

The team has currently started their training for the Tokyo leg of the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu Grand Slam and tournaments for the juveniles and teenagers.

“The good thing is we haven’t stopped training at all after Vietnam and so all of them are in good shape,” said Lima, who was overseeing the training at the IPIC Arena yesterday.

“Today we are working with juveniles and the teens but tomorrow onwards the national players will be here for training. There is no doubt that we have done well but we have to make sure that the next crop of fighters also excel,” added Lima, who felt that UAE was reaping the rewards of constant effort in developing the sport.

“What has helped us to reach this level is the number of competition and the exposure our players are getting. If we keep doing that I’m sure we can overtake Brazil in few years. This sport has been followed for 100 years in Brazil but they don’t have the support that UAE enjoys from the government,” said Lima.

The coach also rated both stars of UAE Jiu Jitsu Yahia Mansour Al Hammadi and Faisal Al Ketbi, who have been creating waves for some time now.

“In Asia they both (Yahia and Al Ketbi) are the best. They have made tremendous progress and impact in the sport in this region with their success. However, their real challenge will come when they compete at the Worlds in Poland this December,” said Lima, adding that it won’t be easy though.

“The duo have to be at the top of their game and in the best of shape if they have to do well there. Depending on how they perform there we can know how far they can go as it is a tournament where the best of the world will be competing. Both have been a role model and they have inspired many. They are expected to be dominant in the Grand Slams no doubt.”