Abu Dhabi: The UAE national jiu-jitsu team has arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, for the prestigious World Games 2022, the international multi-sports event held every four years. The team will start a light training regime tomorrow in preparation for competition on Friday, July 15.
Considered a global showpiece for sports yet to be included in the Olympic Games, the 11th edition of the World Games will run from July 7-17 in the USA. It will feature approximately 3,600 participants from 100 nations competing across mor than 30 sports.
A jiu-jitsu squad of five athletes from the UAE qualified for the games and are hoping of building on a landmark performance at the 2017 Games in Warsaw, Poland. Last time out, the UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi captured the gold medal in the under-94kg category and there is a strong desire among the delegation to repeat the feat this month.
Al Ketbi, this year competing in the 85kg category, will be joined by compatriots Muhammad Al Amri (77kg), Muhammad Al Suwaidi (69kg), Shamma Al Kalbani (63kg) and Balqees Abdelkareem (-48 kg).
The weigh-in of some 96 jiu-jitsu players will take place this Thursday, July 14, with the tournament following the next day. The competition for the open weight division will be held on Saturday, July 16.
Ramon Lemos, head coach of the UAE team said, “Our early arrival here and the establishment of our overseas training camp is all part of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s plan for maintaining the players’ readiness and concentration in the lead-up to the competition. The Federation and the technical staff have complete faith in the national team’s players. Each has the skills necessary to outperform the finest players from across the world. Helping our athletes maintain optimum energy and a balanced state of mind so they can perform at their best is arguably our top priority. It’s certainly the biggest goal of our technical staff.”