Omar Al Fadhli eyeing double gold glory again at JJIF World Championship in Abu Dhabi
Emirati, 19, seals victory at the Mubadala Arena on Sunday after beating the Belgian Iles Dadayev
Omar Al Fadhli won his second successive gold in the JJIF Junior and Youth World Championship and is now focused on completing the double when he competes in the adult division in the coming days.
Last year, Al Fadhli, 19, became the first Emirati to win gold in both the youth and adult divisions when it was held at two different months and two different venues in Sweden and Abu Dhabi.
“Having done it last year, I felt more confident competing in my own backyard and in front of my home fans,” Al Fadhli said after winning the youth [U21] 62-kilogram final at the Mubadala Arena on Sunday.
“I’m familiar with the surroundings here. I was at home here and I had that feeling I can do whatever I wanted to at a place I know like the back of my hand. I had go through four fights but Alhamdulillah, I did it.”
Al Fadhli won the final by submission after applying the bow and arrow choke on the Belgian Iles Dadayev midway in the contest.
“I used this a lot and was successful. It worked again,” he added. “This is the first time I met him and you never know what to expect. The final looked a bit easier for me but to reach it was very hard."
“The last time the two competitions were in two different times of the year and at two different venues. I have five days to prepare for the adult division but as always, I’m ready.”
The host added three more golds to the nine they won in the female junior and youth division on Saturday.
Zayed Al Katheeri and Mohammed Ali Al Suwaidi won the other two golds in the U21 56kg and 69kg weights, respectively.
In an impressive sporting gesture, Al Katheeri exchanged his gold with the silver of his teammate Theyab Al Nuaimi after defeating him in the final.
“He’s my teammate and it doesn’t matter which medal I took home,” Al Katheeri said. “He's my teammate and he reached the final. He deserved it more than me because I know how much effort he put in to reach the final. He will remember me for all his life for this exchange of medals.”
After two days of the competition in the U18 and U21 age division, the UAE lead the points table on 12 golds, 11 silver and 16 bronze.
Russia are second on 10g, 5s, 8b followed by Poland (4-0-2), Romania (3-4-5), Thailand (2-5-1) and Belgium (2-2-1) in the top six.
Marcin Maciulewicz of Poland won his second gold in the competition after his first in Greece in 2017.
“I couldn’t make it to Abu Dhabi last year but this gold more than makes up for that,” said the 20-year-old first year engineering undergraduate, after winning the 94kg U21 gold.
“I coach and assist my head coach at my club and my plan is to turn professional in the future.”
Updated: November 18, 2019 08:06 AM