Faisal Al Ketbi halfway to double gold target at Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games

UAE captain defeated his compatriot in the final on a day that saw Emiratis win two golds, two silvers, and three bronze.

Faisal Al Ketbi has set his eyes on double gold at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games after clinching the 94-kilogramme weight final on the opening day’s jiu-jitsu competition at the Olympic stadium in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan yesterday.

The Emirati, who is leading a 23-member squad comprised of 16 men and seven women, said his job was only "half done" after breezing through his opponents to set up an all-Emirati final against Zayed Al Kaabi.

Al Ketbi had gifted the gold to his teammate when they met in finals on two previous occasions, firstly at the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Thailand and most recently at the Asian Championship in Vietnam last month.


However, there was no gifts from Al Ketbi in their third meeting in a continental final. Al Ketbi took less than one minute with a submission lock.

“For me, it didn’t matter who takes the gold as long as it’s for the UAE, but this time team management made that decision,” he said.

“Obviously I’m very pleased with the first day’s work but my job won’t be complete until after the open weight (on Tuesday). I’m hoping for a good piece of work again to add another gold for the UAE and me.”

Al Ketbi, 30, reached the final after a 5-0 points victory over Ramazan Kussainov of Uzbekistan, the disqualification of Turkmenistan's Nejimetdin Caryew, and a 3-2 advantage points win against Jordanian Sami Shamseddin after a scoreless deadlock.

Al Kaabi drew a first round farewell before victories over of Pakistani Mohammed Abid by submission and Jonibek Atajanow of Turkmenistan on points 2-0.

Before flying out to Ashgabat, Al Ketbi said the Indoor and Martial Arts Games was his biggest challenge for 2017.

In 2018, the Asian Games in Jakarta will be his only goal, when jiu-jitsu makes its debut at the continent’s biggest sporting spectacle.

The UAE had an excellent first day on the mat, winning two golds, two silvers and three bronze from the seven finals staged on the first day. There are seven gold medals more up for grabs today.

“It was a satisfying result in a competition that’s widely regarded as a mini Asian Games for jiu-jitsu,” Al Ketbi said. “We can take a lot of positives forward from the first day and hopefully add a few more medals to our tally.”

Talib Al Kirbi won the UAE’s first gold of the day when he got the better of Marc Lim from the Philippines 2-0 in the 69kg division.

The Emirati adopted a guard position before grabbing the two points from a take down with 14 seconds left of the six-minute fight.

Al Kirbi reached the final after victories over Raman Anjan of India by submission, an 8-6 points win over Nurkalyi Mirlanov of Kyrgyzstan and a 2-0 points win against Iraqi Ali Al Alabd.

Ibrahim Al Hosani missed out on a bronze medal in the same weight when he went down to Al Alabd 2-0 on advantage points.

Khalfan Belhol had to settle for silver in the 85kg category. He was edged out by Abdulrahmanhaji Murtazaliev of Kyrgyzstan on a penalty point after a 2-2 deadlock.

Saood Al Hammadi grabbed a bronze in the 77kg division with victory over Mohammed Mansoori of Iran 6-3 on points.

Yahia Al Hammadi picked up the UAE’s third bronze after winning by submission over Jad Fadel of Lebanon in the over 94kg class.

Bashayer Al Matrooshi became only the second Emirati female to win a medal in a senior international competition after Wadima Al Yafei’s bronze medal at the 2016 Asian Beach Games.

Al Matrooshi came back strongly to claim bronze in the women’s 62kg class after  a 15-5 points victory over Maral Owezgeldiyewa of Turkmenistan.

She had earlier been successful over Lakhvinder Kaur of India 16-0 and Tita Putri of Indonesia 4-3 before going down to Buyendelger Battsogt of Mongolia by submission.