Emil Dibirov poses with both his sons Muhammad Dibirov and Omar Dibirov after their triumph at the Jiu Jitsu Festival on Saturday. Image Credit: N.D. Prashant/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Emil Dibirov had draped himself in the Azerbaijan flag, a big smile writ large over his face and his heart was filled with pride. And why wouldn’t he. After all, there is no better feeling than to see both your sons scale great heights as happened in his case.

Brothers Mohammad Dibirov and Omar Dibirov both emerged victorious at the Jiu-Jitsu World Festival and they proudly stood in front of their father with the gold medals dangling around their necks. Mohammad took the top honours for the second year running in the 51.5kg white belt juvenile category, while it was a maiden title for Omar in the 38.5kg grey belt category on Saturday.

“I can’t explain how happy I’m as the boys have been working really hard. They have been all for this sport and I have backed them all the way,” said a jubilant Sr. Dibirov hugging both his sons tight.

“This year, it is more special because my younger son Omar has also done will. He is so young and now he is keeping up with his brother. For me to see him participate was a big thing, but now he has a gold. I’m so happy,” added Dibirov, whose sons have been creating waves even back home.

“This year had been good for both of us. We won the nationals in Azerbaijan as well. The sport is not that popular there, but it is catching up. I was always confident of winning again here as I have been training with older boys at the Al Nasr Club,” revealed Mohammad, who is now looking for a double at the Youth Championship in two days.

Omar attributes his success to his elder brother saying, “He has been an inspiration and I’m happy that I have won here. Twice at the Azerbaijan nationals I finished second, so I wanted to win gold and make everyone proud. I’m really very happy and want to keep practicing hard,” said a beaming Omar. For Russian-born Uzbek fighter Omar Gadjiev, the contest in the white belt 71.5kg category was a mere formality. He has been dominating since 2014. He has remained undefeated until now and on Saturday too, he was at his dominant best.

“On my first fight in 2014, I came second. After that, I have won gold in all the competitions I have taken part. I just hate losing and always want to give my best. I have started to compete in the teenage category and training with adults makes it easier when you fight against juveniles,” revealed Gadjiev, who is now eyeing gold in the Youth Championship to make his transition into the blue belt category.

Also impressing on the day was Obaid Sayed Al Daheri, who retained his title in white belt in the 54.5kg category. He too hopes to carry his good form into the Youth Championship.

“Both my last two matches were tough as it was against a Brazilian and Russian. If I can repeat this same performance in the Youth, then I’m sure of winning another gold,” asserted Al Daheri.

The action continues on Sunday with 655 women taking to the mat at the IPIC Arena.