Faisal Al Ketbi hails teamwork after Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup hat-trick

Women’s team complete the double for Baniyas club

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Faisal Al Ketbi led Baniyas to a hat-trick of Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup titles at Zayed Sports City on Sunday.

The nation’s most decorated jiu-jitsu star led from the front at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena by winning all his three fights against the Brazilians Guilherme Guedes of Sharjah (by submission), Catriel Rodrigues of Al Jazira (points) and Yatan Bueno of Al Wahda (points).

“The President’s Cup is the most prestigious domestic club title and we are absolutely delighted to win it for the third time,” Al Ketbi told The National.

“As athletes, we are really proud to participate in this competition, regardless of winning the title.

“Not only that, as a team event, it brings a new challenge, meaning we have to depend on our teammates to win in order to become champions. We can say the success is because of the teamwork.

“For this, we need to bring a different kind of strategy and need to prepare the best combination to achieve the desired results from the seven different weight categories.”

Al Ketbi said the format of the competition provides the national team coaches with the opportunity to scout for players in the different weight categories.

“This year’s competition was staged in three different age categories U16, U18 and adults, which [helps] the national team coaches to shortlist the prospective players in different age categories and weight divisions,” he added.

Al Ketbi also pointed out the challenges of fasting and competing during Ramadan.

“It is a big challenge as we had to compete against some of those who weren’t fasting during the day,” he said,

“We had to break fast around 6.45pm and then compete at 9pm. It was hard but we managed to keep ourselves in good shape to compete. Fasting is about disciplining ourselves to achieve our objective.

“Overall we enjoyed the two days of competition because we were the winners. We had best preparation, best strategy and the best way to recover from every fight to maintain the perfect record in this prestigious championship for three years in a row.”

Al Wahda and Al Ain finished second and third.

Baniyas completed the double with the women’s team emerging as winners above Wahda and Sharjah Self Defence Sports Club.

“Honestly, winning the championship was an incomparable feeling,” said Baniyas’ UAE women’s international Maitha Shraim, who overcame her national team colleague Hessa Al Shamsi, of Wahda.

Honestly, winning the championship was an incomparable feeling
Maitha Shraim - Baniyas

Abdulmunan Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation said having the competition under three age categories was a game-changer.

“It provided an opportunity for the players to shine and the team’s technical staff will have drawn great insights into their players,” he said.

Fahad Al Shamsi, general secretary of the UAEJJF, added: “The President's Cup has seen incredible success in the past three weeks and this event has established a strong platform for all jiu-jitsu enthusiasts across the emirates.

“The tournament was a big success this year, with more clubs, academies and players participating than ever before. We've seen a rise, too, in the number of families and parents encouraging their children to join in this sport.”

Updated: April 25, 2022, 1:16 PM