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UAE Jiu Jitsu fighters impress at London Grand Slam

‘I’m very grateful that I have the privilege to come and compete at the Grand Slam’

Image Credit: Courtesy: Organisers
Germany’s Charlotte Von Baumgarten (right) inaction against World No 1 Larissa Paes of Brazil inthe 62kg division at the Jiu-Jitsu World Tour in London.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: UAE players won a total of 67 medals including 23 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze in different weight and belt categories in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour in London at the Copper Box Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Brazilian’s topped the medals tally with 43 gold, 29 silver and 22 bronze followed by Great Britain (24 gold, 27 silver and 20 bronze) and the UAE.

Jassim Mubarak of Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club, who won the gold in the purple belt Male Master 2 69kg category against Spain’s Miguel Angel Palomino Padilla via submission, speaking about his showing said, “First of all I would like to thank God, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, my teammates and coaches at Al Jazira for their support. I’m very grateful that I have the privilege to come and compete at the Grand Slam.

“I always perform to do my best and I don’t think about winning gold or silver, I believe hard work will always pay off at the end and today my hard work paid off.”

Also making the most of the opportunity was 17-year-old Mahra Al Hanaei, who added another gold to her tally by beating compatriot Alia Al Dhahnanion via submission in the 57kg weight. It may be recalled that Mahra had won gold in the Grand Slam events at Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro earlier in the season.

Brazilians were at their dominant best and were in line for clean sweep of the gold medals on the final day of the event that had $125,000 in cash prizes up for grabs and up to 200 ranking points.

However, that was dashed with Germany’s Charlotte Von Baumgarten’s comeback win for gold in the 62kg division against the World No. 1 Larissa Paes of Brazil.

Paes had stormed into a 5-0 lead with an early sweep and knee slide, but Von Baumgarten swept back to make it 5-2. Von Baumgarten then had a choke locked just before time to steal a sensational 6-5 win.

In another much-anticipated adults 69kg final, Brazil’s Paulo Miyao defeated compatriot Victor Otoniel by a collar choke.

“Thank you to UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, all my supporters and the fans of jiu-jitsu in London for welcoming us here with open arms. It is great to win another gold medal at the Grand Slam. I will see you all in Abu Dhabi for the World Pro Championship,” said a delighted Miyao.

Rising star Amal Amjahid of Belgium also claimed gold in the female Adult brown/black 55kg against Rose Al Sharouni.

“Firstly I would like to congratulate Rose for giving me a tough fight, she is really a top competitor and I enjoyed competing against her. Thank you to all the fans here in London, thanks to UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and my coach. I will take a few days off and then it’s straight back to the gym, as they say, jiu-jitsu is a lifestyle,” said a jubilant Amjahid.

Tareq Al Bahri, director of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, speaking about the success of the tournament said, “We have come to an end of another glorious season of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has put a lot of hard work, the management team, competitors, sponsors and TV partners, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making this our best season yet.”