18 July, 2023

The UAE national jiu-jitsu team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, started their medal campaign in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in style, capturing four medals, including two gold, one silver, and one bronze. The championship is taking place in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, and will continue until July 20.

Balqees Al Hashemi gave a strong start for the UAE by winning gold in the women’s 45kg category. She was soon joined on the podium by Faisal Al Ketbi, who secured gold in the 94kg category. Saeed Al Kubaisi won the silver medal in the 85kg category, and Aisha Al Shamsi won the bronze medal in the 45kg category, solidifying the UAE’s pursuit of retaining the title.

Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations and head of the UAE national team delegation in the tournament heaped praise on the athletes for their achievements. “The number of medals today is a reason for optimism in our pursuit of retaining the title. The male and female fighters delivered a wonderful performance, with Balqees Al Hashemi standing out as she made history by becoming the first female UAE champion to win gold in the adults category in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. These results showcase the Federation’s success strategy in uncovering talents and nurturing champions with the highest international standards,” Al Shamsi said.

“The team had a promising start in the tournament and we are optimistic about our athletes’ ability to continue improving their performance in the upcoming competitions over the next two days. The dedication and hard work of the athletes, under the guidance of the technical and administrative staff, are decisive factors as we strive to reach new heights and preserve our position at the top.

Faisal Al Ketbi added another gold to his illustrious record, showcasing exceptional skills throughout all the day’s fights. His experience and expertise on the mat enabled him to secure victory against one of the strongest competitors, reaffirming that UAE athletes are formidable opponents in every tournament.

“I dedicate this achievement to the UAE leadership and people of the country, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation headed by His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Ju-Jitsu Union and Senior Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, and all those who support us on our journey towards fulfilling goals that bring joy to our country,” Al Ketbi said.

“We are still at the beginning, and I have full confidence in the ability of my teammates to achieve the desired results and increase the UAE’s medal count. We stand in full support of them.”

Balqees Al Hashemi, the world champion in the 45kg weight category, also expressed her indescribable joy in achieving the remarkable feat. “I believe the training camp in Sweden played a crucial role in my preparation for the event, which ultimately led to these impressive results. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to coach Ramon Lemos, who constantly motivates the athletes to unleash their potential and perform at their best. I can’t describe the immense pride we feel when we see the UAE flag on the podium and hear the national anthem.”

The competitions will continue tomorrow with men in the weight categories of 62kg, 69kg, and over 94kg, and for women, the weight categories will be 52kg and 57kg. Khaled Al Shehhi, Khaled Alblooshi, Mohamed Alsuwaidi, Sultan Jabr, Ammar Alhosani, Hazza Farhan, Hessa AlShamsi, Shamsa AlAmri, and Haya Alajhoori will take to the mats tomorrow.

Khaled Al Shehhi, who is competing in the 62kg weight category, said, “We have closely watched the fights of our colleagues who participated today and took note of certain factors that will help us be ready for tomorrow and contribute to the team’s medal collection. We have all the necessary elements for fierce competition, and our sights are set only on the title.”