Abu Dhabi: Omar Al Fadhli defeated Nurzhan Seiduali of Kazakhstan in the 56kg final by advantage points 1-0 after a 2-2 deadlock to become the first Emirati to clinch gold the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, held in Sweden. UAE had fielded 11 fighters for the tournament but Al Fadhli could manage to reach the medals bout.
There was also disappointment for UAE’s ace Faisal Al Ketbi as he failed to impress in the 94kg weight. Ketbi lost to Moldovan Eldar Rafigaev in the quarter-finals and to Joseph Estephan of Canada in the repechage.
France topped the medals tally with six golds in total, Russia stood second with four golds.
“I must say I didn’t achieve this medal alone. My family, members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, my teammates and coaches Helder Mediros, Ribamar Santiago and Felipe Tribst. They all had a big hand in it.
“I was given everything that I needed to pursue on my journey and of course some hard work from my side,” said Al Fadhli dedicating the title to the support he received from everyone around.
“My approach for this competition was same as any other and the fights too were not different from any high-profile international event. I had four fights and couldn’t differentiate one from the other,” added Al Fadhli, who made it to the finals beating Wojceich Gryz of Poland by points 2-0 in the semi-final. He had beaten Canadian Denis Beenen in the quarters.
Obaid Al Nuaimi, who also competed in the same category crashed out after he lost his quarter-final clash to Gryz by submission. He could have still managed to get his hands on to the bronze but injury put him out of action in the repechage bout.
Mohammad Al Qubaisi and Saoud Al Hammadi made quarter-finals exit in the 77kg and so did Abdullah Al Jneibi and Saeed Bin Fahad in the 69kg. Khalifa Nassrati made a third-round exit after drawing a first-round bye, while Zayed Al Mansouri suffered a second round loss to Carlo Pena of the Philippines, both in the 62kg.