Omar Al Fadhli to learn from Grand Slam Moscow after returning with bronze
The 19-year-old Emirati jiu-jitsu fighter was making his debut as a purple belt
Omar Al Fadhli said he will learn from his experiences at the Grand Slam Moscow after settling for a bronze medal in his purple belt debut at the Triumph Arena on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Emirati lost his semi-final on the referee’s decision after a 4-4 deadlock on points to the eventual winner, Marcos Froede of Brazil, in the 62-kilogram weight.
“It is my first competition for the season and first in the purple belt, and I’ll take this experience forward,” said Al Fadhli, who had earlier defeated another Brazilian, Giovanny Do Nascimento, by points 2-0.
“Obviously a bit disappointed when you lose a game on a penalty shoot-out but there is always a next time in a long season.”
Al Fadhli is one of the rising stars in the UAE and he rounded off last season in style. He won his first gold in the adult division at the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s (UAEJJF) season-ending Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in April.
That result moved him top of the UAEJJF’s world rankings in the blue belt, and he was promoted to purple belt.
Reem Abdulla, who shared the stage with Al Fadhli when she was named the Emirati female fighter of the year at the annual UAEJJF awards, got her campaign off to a winning start. The 19-year-old made short work of Russian Anna Gorbunova in the 49kg blue belt final.
Emirati fighters returned with 15 gold medals from the 93 on offer from the inaugural event in Moscow, the first of the six Grand Slams of the Abu Dhabi World Tour.
Meanwhile, Brazilians dominated the black belt category by winning all 11 golds in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
World No 1s Gabriel de Sousa and Gabrieli Pessanha paved the way by getting their title defences off to bright starts.
De Sousa got the better of fellow Brazilian Francisco Andrade in the men’s 62kg black belt final, and Pessanha broke little sweat when she received a walkover by compatriot Marcelle Cantanhede in the women’s 95kg division.
Larissa Paes, the 2018 women’s world champion, made a strong bid to regain her crown with victory in the 62kg weight. The Abu Dhabi based Brazilian got the better of Amal Amjahid of Belgium by points 2-0.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour returns for the second leg of the season on July 27 and 28 in Tokyo.
Updated: June 17, 2019 02:48 PM