Omar Al Fadhli
Omar Al Fadhli Image Credit: Supplied

With less than a week until the UAE national jiu-jitsu team defends their Asian championship title in Manama, Bahrain, all eyes are on Omar Al Fadhli, the Middle East’s youngest jiu-jitsu black belt, who is chasing his third gold medal at the continental tournament. Ahead of the sixth Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship, he expressed confidence that he and his team are prepared to maintain their medal glory.

Al Fadhli began training for the championship in 2021 itself. “The preparations for the Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship began just after Christmas last year,” he said. “I train four times a day, six days a week, focusing on proper nutrition, watching our fights, studying the opponents, and working hard to improve my technical abilities.”

He also stated that he is currently focusing on low-intensity training as he enters the last week of the competition. “It’s very critical right now, we’re doing low-intensity training, so we don’t get hurt,” he said

Al Fadhli, who is entering the black belt division, believes he has progressed significantly from prior levels. “I practise enhancing my training every day, therefore I’ve made significant progress. I’m not the same person I was when I won the medal while wearing brown belt. I am confident that I have improved my level.”

Fadhli had previously become the Middle East’s youngest jiu-jitsu black belt, at the age of just 21. “I’ve competed in the Asian championships earlier and won two golds,” he said. “Now I’m trying for the No. 3.”

The MBR Creative Sports Award winner for Local Emerging Athlete in 2017 added: “I don’t think there’s any pressure because I’ve done all the calculations and training ahead of time, I’ve done my part, and I’ve done what I needed to do. Now it’s time to be joyful and relax, because I’ve already done all the hard job.”

The athlete who was honoured the Most Valuable Player Award by the UAEJJF in 2021 says his finest achievement so far is winning the brown belt gold medal at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship last year. “I hope to be the black belt champion in the Asian Games in China and the Abu Dhabi World Pro this season,” he said. “I want to win every single championship on my way ahead.”