Dubai: A spirited performance from Mohammad Al Qubaisi’s ‘Al Abyad’ team saw them crowned winners of the Jiu-Jitsu Champions Challenge against ‘Azraq’, the side led by Faisal Al Ketbi at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi, late on Wednesday.
The Al Abyad team bagged 14 wins out of 25 match-ups, comfortably pulling clear of their opponents in the points table. The winner of each fight was awarded 100 points, and in case of a win by submission the winner was awarded an extra 50 points.
Al Qubaisi’s team racked up a total of 1,600 points against Al Ketbi’s side who managed 1,250 points, on their way to clinching the inaugural edition of the Jiu-Jitsu Champions Challenge organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the governing body for the sport in the UAE.
The tournament, organised in line with Federal and global COVID-19 health and safety protocols, brought together the cream of Emirati jiu-jitsu fighters, with prominent members of the UAE jiu-jitsu national team being pitted against each other.
The winning team rode on a series of strong performances from Omar Al Fadhli, Mohammad Al Suwaidi and Salem Mubarak Al Dhaheri in the adults’ category, while Rashid Al Shehhi, Theyab Al Nuaimi and Faraj Al Awlaqi posted wins in the youth categories.
‘Team Azraq’ also had a few notable performances with Sultan Al Hosani, Saeed Al Mazrouei and Ali Al Bannai performing encouragingly in the adults’ category, while Omar Al Suwaidi, Mahdi Al Awlaqi and Saeed Al Qubaisi held their own in the youth categories.
Abdul Munam Al Hashemi, President, UAEJJF and President of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union and Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said that the performances on the mat at the Jiu-Jitsu Champions Challenge were proof of the benefits accrued during the closed training camp of the national team.
“Our athletes have wholeheartedly embraced their training schedules during the camp and the benefits were clearly visible on the mat. A number of young talented athletes gave a very good account of themselves last night and the emergence of Faisal Al Ketbi and Mohammad Al Qubaisi as guiding lights to the younger generation has been another encouraging sign,” he noted.
Mubarak Al Menhali, Technical Director, UAEJJF, said that with the closed training camp coming to an end on May 24, the tournament had been an ideal platform to test the athletes. “Participating in the closed training camp has seen our athletes and coaching staff make a number of sacrifices. However, it was heartening to see all the hard work that has been put in paying off,” he said.
“The coaching staff has worked hard at helping ease the athletes back into a competitive mindset and we are now looking forward to building on these gains,” he added.