Emirati jiu-jitsu stars arrive in Alabama for World Games

The World Games will feature 3,600 participants from 100 countries

By Team KT

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A five-member jiu-jitsu team will represent the UAE at the Games. (Supplied photo)
A five-member jiu-jitsu team will represent the UAE at the Games. (Supplied photo)

Published: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 10:20 PM

The UAE national jiu-jitsu team arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, for the prestigious World Games 2022, the international multi-sports event held every four years.

The team will start a light training session on Friday.

Considered a global showpiece for sports yet to be included in the Olympic Games, the 11th edition of the World Games will run from July 7-17 in the USA. It will feature 3,600 participants from 100 countries competing across more than 30 sports.

A jiu-jitsu squad of five athletes from the UAE qualified for the Games and are hoping to build on a landmark performance at the 2017 Games in Warsaw, Poland.

Last time out, the UAE’s Faisal Al Ketbi captured the gold medal in the under-94kg category and there is a strong desire among the delegation to repeat the feat this month.

Al Ketbi, competing in the 85kg category this year, will be joined by compatriots Muhammad Al Amri (77kg), Muhammad Al Suwaidi (69kg), Shamma Al Kalbani (63kg) and Balqees Abdelkareem (-48 kg).

The weigh-in of some 96 jiu-jitsu players will take place on Thursday with the tournament following the next day. The competition for the open weight division will be held on Saturday.

Ramon Lemos, head coach of the UAE team, said: “Our early arrival here and the establishment of our overseas training camp is all part of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation's plan for maintaining the players' readiness and concentration in the lead-up to the competition.

“The Federation and the technical staff have complete faith in the national team's players. Each has the skills necessary to outperform the finest players from across the world. Helping our athletes maintain optimum energy and a balanced state of mind so they can perform at their best is arguably our top priority. It’s certainly the biggest goal of our technical staff.”

Lemos explained the method of the participants qualification for the competition is subject to strict criteria based primarily on performances at the most prestigious international and continental tournaments over the past three years – 2019 through 2021.

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