Omar Al Fadhli wins UAE's first gold medal at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship
Emirati teenager dedicates his success in 56kg final to support of his family and trainers
Omar Al Fadhli dedicated his historic gold medal for the UAE at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in Sweden to the support he has received from his coaches and family.
The 18-year-old defeated Nurzhan Seiduali of Kazakhstan in the 56-kilogram final by advantage points 1-0 after a 2-2 deadlock on points at the end of the six-minute bout.
Al Fadhli is the first Emirati to win a gold at the event and he was eager to highlight that it had been a team effort.
"I must say I didn’t achieve this medal alone," he said. “My family, members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, my teammates, and coaches Helder Mediros, Ribamar Santiago and Felipe Tribst. They all had a big hand in it.
“I was given everything that I needed to pursue on my journey and of course some hard work from my side.”
Al Fadhli won the quarter final by submission over Canadian Denis Beenen and then Wojceich Gryz of Poland by points 2-0 in the semi-final.
“My approach for this competition was same as any other and the fights too were not different from any high profile international event," he added. "I had four fights and couldn’t differentiate one from the other.”
Obaid Al Nuaimi competed in the same weight as Al Fadhli. He reached the quarter finals before losing to Gryz by submission in which he suffered an injury and missed out on the chance of a bronze through the repechage.
The UAE travelled with a squad of 11 fighters and only Al Fadhli reached the medal round.
Faisal Al Ketbi could only finish eighth in the 94kg weight after losing to Moldovan Eldar Rafigaev in the quarter finals and to Joseph Estephan of Canada of a chance to win bronze on the repechage.
Mohammed Al Qubaisi and Saoud Al Hammadi both reached the quarter-finals in the 77kg.
Al Qubaisi registered victories over Yusef Salmi of Morocco and Wim Deputter of Belgium before losing to Korean In Seong-jang by points 4-0.
Al Hammadi went down to Sebastien Lecocq of France by submission. The Emirati had earlier overcome three opponents – Ramon Babli of Moldova, Bahraini Maitham Sabba and Dinu Silviu of Romania – to reach the last eight.
Abdullah Al Jneibi reached the quarters in the 69kg and teammate Saeed bin Fahad made a second round exit in the same weight.
Khalifa Nassrati made a third-round exit after drawing a first round bye, while Zayed Al Mansoori suffered a second round loss to Carlo Pena of the Philippines, both in the 62kg.
Mohammed Haitham Radhi and Mohammed Amro could not progress beyond the second and third rounds respectively.
France won six golds in both the men and women categories, with Russia the next most successful with four.
Updated: November 25, 2018 10:43 AM