The UAE topped the medals table at the sixth Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, wining three more golds to take their overall tally to 16 on the second and final day of competition at the National Stadium in Manama, Bahrain, on Tuesday.
Shamma Al Kalbani got the better of Thai Orapa Senatham in the women’s 63-kilogram category while Khaled Al Shehhi and Mohamed Al Amri completed UAE’s dominant performance by taking the men’s 62kg and 77kg finals, respectively.
Al Shehhi overcame Amirul Syafiq Bin Shah of Singapore while Emirati star Omar Al Fadhli had to settle for bronze in that division. Al Amri defeated Ala Aldin Al Khuzai of Jordan for the UAE’s eighth gold.
The UAE’s Hamda Al Shekheili also had to settle for silver behind Vietnamese Phung Thi Hue Vietnam in the women’s 45kg.
Maitha Shraim took bronze in the women’s 52kg behind Vietnam’s Durong Thi Thanh Minh and Rania Meqbel of Jordan.
UAE coach Ramon Lemos lauded the team’s performance in the year’s first international competition which produced eight gold, two silver and six bronze medals.
“To win eight finals out of the 13 weight divisions we took part in is really an outstanding effort,” the Brazilian said.
“It indeed is a fantastic start ahead of the World Games in the USA in July and the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September, the IJJF World Championship and the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in-between.
“For me, every competition the national team is taking part in, whatever status it may be, is important. We take one competition at a time and have a big pool of athletes to choose from.
“There is competition among the vast pool of athletes we have and that reflects on the results we achieve in the international arena.”
In the rest of the second day’s contests, Abdalrahman Abuirmeilh overcame Bahrain’s Murtaz Shamkhalov in the men’s 94-kg final for Jordan’s second gold to take them second in the overall medals tally.
Saudi Arabia won their first Asian title after Hussam Ashour defeated Iraq's Alaa Al Roghani in the men's over 94kg.
Jordan finished with two golds, three silvers and a bronze followed by Vietnam (2-0-1), Thailand (1-1-5) and Saudi Arabia (1-0-2) among the 23 participating nations.
Meanwhile, the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union (JJAU) announced the inaugural Asian Youth Championship for U14, U16 and U18 in 2023.
Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, JJAU general secretary, said the Asian Youth Championship will allow the sport to focus on the future.
“As we progress, we should also focus on our future by providing the youth an early introduction to the international platform,” he said during the JJAU general assembly, held on the sidelines of the Asian Championship.
Al Shamsi said they have set June 30 as deadline for bids to stage the first edition of the youth championship.
Ju-jitsu is also set to be part of the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia, the 2025 Asian Youth Games in Tashkent, the 2025 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Saudi Arabia and the Aichi-Nagoya 2026 Asian Games.
The Birmingham 2022 World Games, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games and the 2023 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok and Chomburi are also on the calendar in the next two years.