ABU DHABI // The UAE team are "well-tuned" for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, according to a federation chief.
The 11-strong national team, which includes one woman, in the Asian championship gold-medallist Shamsa Hassan, have been preparing in Europe and North America in a bid to improve on the one gold medal they won last year through Abdullah Al Ketbi in the white/blue category.
"We must be realistic when we enter a team for a world championship, whether it is in Abu Dhabi or abroad," said Nasser Al Tamimi, the general secretary of the Wrestling, Judo & Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
"The team is well-tuned for this year. We had a programme drawn up with this championship in mind. They were sent to participate in several competitions in Europe and the United States, which included a training camp at the renowned Renzo Gracie academy in New York."
The UAE team features Faisal Al Ketbi, who has three golds in the championship, Yahya Mansour Al Hammadi, Mohammed Al Qubaisi, Ali Al Darei, Talib Al Kurbi, Hassan Al Rumaithi, Dhahi Al Themairi, Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Abdullah Al Ketbi and Ahmed Al Ketbi.
"We have provided them the training and exposure they needed," Al Tamimi said. "It is up to them to go out there and give their best. We haven't put undue pressure that they must win.
"This is the highest level and you not only need to be at your best, but need some good fortunes, too, to win at this level.
"For a young sport in the country, jiu-jitsu has had a remarkable growth, particularly in Abu Dhabi. We have had some success in the past.
"We won three gold medals in 2010 and one last year. Hopefully we can win more in this championship."
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE