Fahad Al Hammadi gave the UAE a fourth gold medal at the IMMAF Youth World Championships on the penultimate day of the four-day event at the Mubadala Arena on Friday.
The Emirati overcame Italy’s Damiano Grillo in the 70.3kg division (16-17 age group) to take the home team's tally to four golds, four silvers and four bronze medals and fourth in the table behind Ukraine (9 gold, 15 silver, 13 bbronze), Tajikistan (6g, 2s, 3b) and the USA (4g, 6s, 4b) in the championships that has drawn a record 46 countries.
“I extend my gratitude to everyone who supported us, especially the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation,” Fahad said.
“The journey towards this victory involved extensive preparations to deliver our best performance. Thankfully, the hard work has paid off, and our team is achieving remarkable results. Thank you all for unwavering support and belief in us.”
Mohammed Al Hosani, a member of the MMA Committee of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, lauded the national team’s exceptional performance in only their second appearance in the championships.
“The evaluation and selection process for the UAE national team players spanned a full year between the third and fourth editions of the IMMAF Youth World Championships," he said.
“During this time, five MMA local tournaments were organised. Subsequently, rigorous preparation and a preparatory training camp were conducted for a month prior to the championship to enhance the players' focus.
“We are delighted to see that the meticulous preparation, selection, and training processes have borne the desired results.”
Al Hosani congratulated Fahad for securing the gold medal.
“The whole nation is proud of him. His remarkable achievement brings pride to us and serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes in the country. Such successes showcase the talent and dedication of the athletes and highlight the promising future of MMA in the UAE, in the region, and beyond.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine continued to impress with Alisiia Stoianovska wining a ninth gold for the country with victory over Frida Vigueras of Mexico in the female 65.8kg final.
“Becoming the world champion is a dream come true for me,” she said. “There is no resting now. I am ready to embrace the next challenges that come my way.”