UAE dominate Jiu-Jitsu Youth World Championships

National team bag seven golds on final day to finish on top with 46 medals in Kazakhstan

UAE's Khaled Al Shehhi in action against Korean Jun Yang Byeong in the men’s 62kg category en route to winning gold at the JJIF Youth World Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday, August 25, 2023. Photo: UAEJJF
Powered by automated translation

UAE were crowned champions of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) Youth World Championships for the fourth consecutive year after a remarkable final day in which they won seven golds.

They scooped seven gold, five silver and three bronze medals in the U21 division on the final day of the four-day championships to take their tally to 46 medals - 15 gold, 12 silver and 19 bronze - at Kazakhstan's capital Astana on Friday.

Kazakhstan (13g, 18s and 37b) finished second ahead of Germany (9, 11, 9), Greece (8, 6, 25), and Romania (6, 5, 14).

The Russian federation, competing under the JJIF flag (31, 22, 43), topped the medals table but were not included in the championships.

Omar Al Suwaidi (56kg), Khaled Al Shehhi (62kg), Faraj Al Awlaqi (77kg), and Abdulrahman Al Shimmari (85kg), all clinched gold for the UAE in the men’s U21 division.

Aysha Al Shamsi (45kg), Balqees Al Hashemi (48kg), and Shamma Al Kalbani (63kg) won their respective finals in the women’s U21 category.

The Emirati youths thus completed a double following victory in the JJIF senior championships in Mongolia last month.

Al Shehhi, Al Kalbani, and Al Hashemi proved their mettle by winning gold in both the youth and senior championships.

UAE's Shamma Al Kalbani on the podium after winning gold in the women’s 63kg division. Photo: UAEJJF

Al Shehhi, who won the 62kg category gold medal, said: “I can’t describe how happy I am to win two gold medals in Kazakhstan and Mongolia in just one month.

“These wins show that hard work, determination, and not giving up are so important. Even though the fights were tough, we never stopped trying.”

Al Hashemi added: “I can’t put into words how amazing it feels to win and to have the national flag around me.

“I want to congratulate my teammates, and I’m really proud of how well we did in the whole tournament. I want to dedicate this significant win to our wise leaders and the people of the Emirates.

“Additionally, to all the Emirati women who have achieved amazing things in various fields. They serve as great examples for women all around the world.”

Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, deputy chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and head of the delegation to Kazakhstan, lauded the national team’s remarkable achievements.

“Today, our national team champions have achieved impressive results, significantly contributing to the country’s medal tally,” he said.

“Their outstanding performance has enabled us to secure the top position in jiu-jitsu competitions for the fourth consecutive year.

“The excellent performance displayed by our athletes is a testament to the effectiveness of our comprehensive and consistent success strategy, which involves the players, the technical staff, and the federation’s dedicated team.”

The four-day championship drew more than 1,100 athletes from 44 countries in the U16, U18 and U21 categories.

“Our athletes have secured 46 medals, a substantial lead over other teams that secured lower ranks,” Mubarak Al Menhali, UAEJJF’s director of the technical department, added.

“The challenges presented in the competitions were undoubtedly formidable, yet our champions exemplified outstanding patience, persistence, and unwavering professionalism throughout each match."

Updated: August 26, 2023, 7:01 AM