Abu Dhabi’s second-choice jiu-jitsu pros impress at Grand Slam World Tour Los Angeles

The UAE 'B' team took a solid haul from the two days of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour in Los Angeles, Amith Passela reports.
The UAE claimed 16 medals across two days of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour, Los Angeles tournament. Photo Courtesy / UAE JJF
The UAE claimed 16 medals across two days of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour, Los Angeles tournament. Photo Courtesy / UAE JJF

The UAE “B” team returned from Los Angeles after a successful raid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour Los Angeles tournament over the weekend.

The UAE won two gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the “Gi” category and two gold, four silver and a bronze in the “No-Gi” (without the traditional kimono) competition.

Not bad for a second-string side, who were picked to compete in the event because the first team are busy preparing for the fifth Asian Beach Games at Danang in Vietnam.

Musabbeh Mohammed Al Khatri and Naser Ahmed Samtar led the way with gold-medal wins – both in the Masters-1 division.

While Al Khatri got the better of teammate Ibrahim Abdulla Al Hosani in the purple belt 69kg final, Samtar was uncontested in the white belt 77kg.

Silver medallists included Obaid Al Kaabi in the 69kg Masters-1 brown, Jassim Saeed Mubarak in the 77kg Masters-2 blue and Khalifa Al Suwaidi in the 66kg juvenile blue.

Khalid Eskandar Al Balooshi and Humaid Al Kaabi, both in the juvenile, and Ahmed Suhail Al Ketbi, in the 77kg Masters-1 brown, picked up the bronze medals on Day 1 in the Gi event on Saturday.

Al Balooshi and Mohammed Al Khalifa both bagged gold in the No-Gi juvenile while Naser Omar Al Breiki, Al Suwaidi, Al Kaabi and Omar Al Fadhli took a silver each, and Saif Al Qubaisi won a bronze.

Meanwhile, the Americans came out in force to top the medals table with 38 gold from the 77 that were up for grabs.

Brazil finished second with 27, including four of the six gold medals in the black belt open for men and three of the four for women.

One of the Abu Dhabi-based Brazilian instructors to impress was Jose Junior, a silver medallist in the absolute division at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in April.

Making his debut in a Grand Slam event, Junior, 30, went down to compatriot Luiz Panza in the 110kg final, an opponent he had beaten in the Abu Dhabi Pro this year.

“I made a mistake to lose the final,” Junior said. “That’s all it takes when it comes to this level.

“The competition was great with so many big names and I managed to put myself in the top bracket by reaching the final in my weight category.

“This season I plan to take part in all the Grand Slam events and the UAE’s domestic competitions this season,” he added. “I have worked really hard last season and want to do more to achieve better results in the coming months.”

Ricardo Evangelista, another Abu Dhabi-based Brazilian instructor and defending champion of the 94kg, had to settle for a bronze behind fellow countrymen Alexandre Ribeiro, the two-time absolute world champion, and Arnaldo Oliveira.

Next is the Grand Slam Tokyo on October 23, followed by Rio de Janeiro on November 12 and 13, Abu Dhabi on January 13 and 14 and London on March 18.

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: September 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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