The UAE national jiu-jitsu team are on the hunt for podium places at the World Championships in Bogota this week.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu national team flew from Abu Dhabi to the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Tuesday to participate in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships.
Organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), the World Championship will be held from November 23-27.
The UAE national team features four players in different weight categories — Faisal Al Ketbi in 94kg, Obaid Al Nuaimi in 56kg; Saeed Al Mazrouei in 62kg, and Saood Al Hammadi in 77kg.
Yousuf Al Balooshi, director of the technical department at the UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and the delegation president has accompanied the team along with Ramon Lemos, director of training at the UAEJJF.
UAEJJF had recently held a training session for national team players, in which international experts participated to help enhance the team’s fitness prior to their participation in the World Championship.
By winning medals consistently in tournaments that test its athletes against the world’s best players, UAEJJF aims to highlight its leading global position to the future generations and gain international expertise.
“The national team’s participation comes as a continuation of a series of remarkable achievements from previous world championships. The World Championship in Colombia is one of the biggest challenges our team will face. Everything that our players have been through in previous championships was in preparation for this historical opportunity to raise the UAE’s name high in the most important international arena,” said Al Balooshi.
“Our ambition is to win. Our goal is to increase the UAE’s international presence in this sport and our spirits are at the highest thanks to the international experience we have gained from previous international, continental and local championships.”
One of the most prominent players in this tournament, world champion Faisal Al Ketbi confirmed that the team are ready to achieve their best results , stating: “My team-mates and I are completely aware of our responsibility in this championship, which we consider the most important challenge in the current season.
“We also consider ourselves fortunate to be able to participate and are aware of the hopes of the nation. We welcome the opportunity to raise our beloved nation’s flag high in this world championship.
“We will go above and beyond to make it to the podium in order to give back to our beloved homeland and repay the generosity, even though a small fraction, of what our leaders and Sheikhs bestow upon us.
“UAEJJF’s aim has been to be number one since its establishment. Hence, we will intensify our efforts to keep that promise and present our nation with the gift of victory through this great event. We want to reach the podium so that the national anthem of our beloved country is heard by everyone.”
The national team has kept a busy international calendar this season with several international participations that began with the Asian edition of the World Beach tournament in Pattaya, Thailand, followed by the World Games in Poland at the end of the same month where Al Ketbi won the gold medal.
This was followed by the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, U15 World Cup in Montenegro, the team’s first participation in the Rio De Janeiro edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, which took place from November 10-12.
They will end this month with their current participation in the World Championship and finally the World Beach Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Cartagena, Colombia on November 30.