New female Emirati star shines at AJP Tour UAE National Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Teenager Asma Al Hosani bags gold by defeating rivals ranked above her in the two-day competition in Abu Dhabi

Asma Al Hosani, centre, on the podium flanked by Aigerim Kuatkyzy, left, and Bashayar Al Matrooshi. Photo: UAEJJF
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An Emirati female jiu-jitsu star has emerged at almost every recent major competition and it was Asma Al Hosani’s turn to grab the spotlight at the AJP Tour UAE National Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Al Hosani, 19, beat her more illustrious national team colleagues Maitha Sheraim and Bashayar Al Matrooshi, and then overcame Kazakhstan's Aigerim Kuatkyzy to win a gold medal in the purple belt 55-kilogram weight at the Zayed Sports City’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena on Sunday.

All three fights went the distance with the contests against Sheraim and Al Matrooshi going her way by the referees’ decisions before she edged out Kuatkyzy by points in the final.

“To win gold in the AJP Tour was a huge achievement for me, particularly in a bracket that included athletes ranked above me,” Al Hosani, who was representing her club Palms Sports Academy, told The National.

“I train with Maitha and Bashayar with the high performance team every week and it was that experience which has improved my skills and raised my level of my game.

“Such competitions against athletes like Maitha and Bashayar could have gone either way but it was my turn this time. I’m glad that I managed to win the final against Aigerim, which was another tough fight.”

Al Hosani hopes to carry her momentum into the IJJF World Youth Championships and the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in November.

“It’s hard to say what can happen in the next championship but this result in the AJP certainly gives me the belief to replicate the same performance or even do better,” she added.

Ramon Lemos, the UAE national team coach, lauded the Emirati athletes for their outstanding performances at the AJP.

“This championship surpassed all expectations and offered a distinctive model at the technical, organisational, and participation levels in terms of top-tier athletes, particularly the brown and black belts campaign,” he said.

"We’ll be witnessing two of the most prestigious jiu-jitsu competitions in the world: the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the coming months.

“The national team's preparations are in full swing, and I have no doubts whatsoever that our squad will excel and solidify its domination over the sport.

“We are eager to learn from and incorporate the challenges that our players faced today because many of them will make up the core of the national teams at the coming championships. To qualify them and improve their readiness for the impending benefits is a component of our preparation activities."

The Commando Group topped the medals table from Palms Sports and AFNT. In the country rankings, the UAE came first ahead of Brazil and Colombia.

Many of the Emirati fighters used the AJP Tour as preparation for the IJJF Worlds and the Abu Dhabi World Pro.

Khaled Mohammed Al Shehhi of Al Ain Club and the national team, who won the gold in the brown belt 62kg category, was one of them.

“Given the nature and level of the contestants, the tournament was rife with intensity and rivalry and served as the ideal warm-up for the World Championship and the Abu Dhabi World Pro,” he said.

Balqis Al Hashemi of Palms Sports Academy and the winner of the gold in the 49kg weight category said:“I want to give my best effort at the international level and use my recent experience to prepare for the next.".

Updated: September 05, 2022, 9:50 AM
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