Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 12 July 2020

Faisal Al Ketbi misses out on black belt gold at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

  • Al Ketbi beaten by Brazilian No 1 Isaque Braz in 85kg black belt bout 2-0
  • Refuses to speak to media after collecting silver medal
  • Fellow Emirati Talib Al Kirbi loses 69kg black belt Masters-1 to Brazil's Thiago Marques
Isaque Braz, right, of Brazil, in action against the UAE's Faisal Al Ketbi on men's 85kg black belt final. Braz won the fight 2-0 to win gold. Victor Besa / The National
Isaque Braz, right, of Brazil, in action against the UAE's Faisal Al Ketbi on men's 85kg black belt final. Braz won the fight 2-0 to win gold. Victor Besa / The National

Faisal Al Ketbi was left devastated after his gold medal bid at his 10th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship was shattered by the Brazilian No 1 Isaque Braz on Saturday.

At the end of his fight, Al Ketbi took a deep breath, went down in prostration, looked at his coach Ramon Lemos in his corner and then gathered himself up, waved at the fans before walking away from the mat.

The Emirati later arrived at the podium to collect his silver medal but walked away without talking to media.

Braz, 22, on his third visit to the capital and first time in the black belt category at the World Pro, ended the host nation’s hopes of winning one of the 12 gold medals on offer on the concluding day of action at the Mubadala Arena.

“Everyone come here to win and I know how much it hurts, particularly, when you [are] the favourite player at home,” Braz said after winning the black belt 85-kilogram final 2-0.

“I think he did well to reach the final but it wasn’t his day. It was a normal victory for me.

“I didn’t feel any pressure against a home favourite because every day I train and compete with world champions, so the fight against Faisal was just another match for me.”

Al Ketbi has competed in all 10 editions of the Abu Dhabi World Pro, winning 11 gold medals, two silvers and a bronze in the blue, purple and brown belts. However, gold as a black belt at his home tournament continues to elude him. Saturday's defeat was the third time since he was elevated to black belt three years ago Al Ketbi has fallen short.

Talib Al Kirbi was the other Emirati to reach a final but he lasted only 38 seconds when Brazil's Thiago Marques forced a submission via a foot-lock in the 69kg black belt Masters-1. Brazil won nine of the 12 gold medals.


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Angelica Galvao of the United States signed off her career on a high note after she beat Marta Szarecka of Poland.

“I’m actually 25kg lighter than my division and decided to challenge myself for this category,” said Galvao, who won the women’s brown/black 90kg final 8-2.

“I’m 32 now so I know my days in jiu-jitsu were coming to an end so I wanted it to give it a go. I just wanted to do something that I hadn’t done before. This is my last tournament.

“This is one of my best accomplishments so far. This is my first black belt in Gi. I have an academy and want to go into coaching which is something I’m doing now.”

Galvao said she didn’t really know what to expect on her return to Abu Dhabi after winning gold in the purple belt in 2012.

“She was a lot heavier than me and I could only worry about myself and executing the moves,” she said. “I didn’t worry much about her skills and wanted to put my game first."

Amal Amjahid stunned Brazil's Amanda Nogueira with a collar choke to take gold in the women’s brown/black belt 55kg division.

“I’m over the moon,” said the 22-year-old Belgian. “I wasn’t successful in my first two appearances in the World Pro and to win over a black belt is just unbelievable.”

The remaining three gold were won by Mayssa Bastos, Bianca Basilio and Ana Carolina Srour of Brazil.

In the men’s event, Erberth Santos took just 62 seconds to claim the heavyweight gold from Britain's Lucio Rodrigues and Felipe Pena bagged his fifth gold at the World Pro and fourth in his 94kg weight class.

Updated: April 28, 2018 08:09 PM



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