UAE national jiu-jitsu team sweeps day one of Thailand Open Grand Prix 2023, bags 15 medals
Bangkok, May 20, 2023: The UAE national jiu-jitsu team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, continued its successful journey on the international scene as the athletes excelled on the opening day of the Thailand Open Grand Prix 2023 held in Bangkok. The team achieved a remarkable feat, securing a total of 15 medals, including 7 golds, 5 silvers, and 3 bronzes.
Balqis Abdul Karim kick-started the UAE’s medal campaign by winning gold in the 45 kg weight category. She was soon joined on the podium by Hamda Al Shukaili (48 kg), Asma Al Hosani (52 kg), Shamsa Al Amri (57 kg), Theyab Alnuaimi (56 kg), Khaled Alshehhi (62 kg), and Mohammed Alsuwaidi (69 kg), all contributing to the UAE's gold medal tally, which reached seven.
Additionally, Aisha Al Shamsi (45 kg), Hessa Al Shamsi (52 kg), Omar Alsuwaidi (56 kg), Fahad Alhammadi (69 kg), and Mahdi Alawlaqi (77 kg) secured silver medals, further showcasing the UAE's strength on the podium. Sarah Shams Al Hammadi (48 kg), Muhammad Al-Awlaki (77 kg), and Sultan Jabr (69 kg) won bronze medals.
Mubarak Al Menhali, Director of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation's Technical Department, praised the performance of the team, emphasizing that the achievement is a result of the continuous work and tireless efforts put forth by the technical staff, athletes, and the Federation's strategy to invest in their talents.
"Our athletes face each tournament with the utmost professionalism and responsibility, embracing the winning mentality and the spirit of victory. They diligently execute the instructions provided by the technical staff, showcasing high efficiency in managing their fights. They firmly believe that representing the UAE in international competitions must leave a mark that reflects our journey towards global leadership."
He further explained that the UAE jiu-jitsu champions' superiority in the championship demonstrates the intended results of their efforts and serves as excellent preparation for upcoming global competitions, especially the World Championships in Mongolia and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
Ramon Lemos, the head coach of the team, expressed his satisfaction with the athletes' outstanding performance saying, “The results achieved by the national team in continental and international championships reflect the continuous development and global leadership of the UAE in the Jiu-Jitsu global arena.”
“In every tournament we participate in, we are eager to introduce new talents who astound us with their performance and ability to compete at the highest levels. All of this is a testament to the successful strategy implemented by the Federation to discover talents, refine their capabilities, and improve their technical and physical aspects," he added.
Muhammad Ali Al Suwaidi, who won the gold medal in the 69 kg category, expressed his pride and determination. He said, "I put in double the effort for this championship and made a promise to myself to exchange the silver I achieved in Paris for gold in Bangkok. We are still at the beginning of our journey, and we have many upcoming events ahead of us.”
Hamda Al Shekaili, the champion in the 48-kg category, said: "Today's outcomes are undoubtedly the results of consistent training, participation in numerous camps and tournaments, and making the most of the opportunities provided by the Federation. I would like to express my gratitude to the UAEJJF and Mubadala for their unwavering support for the team."