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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

UAE aim to return from jiu-jitsu World Championship in Colombia 'with as many medals as we can', says Al Ketbi

Emirati leads a four-man team at tournament in Bogota from Thursday to Monday

Faisal Al Ketbi leads a four-member UAE team at the World Championship in Bogota, Colombia. Delores Johnson / The National
Faisal Al Ketbi leads a four-member UAE team at the World Championship in Bogota, Colombia. Delores Johnson / The National

Faisal Al Ketbi leads a four-member UAE team at the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation’s (IIJF) World Championship in Colombia from Thursday to Monday.

The Emirates' most decorated practitioner hopes to cap a season that has already gleaned a gold and silver medal at the World Games in Poland and a double gold at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan on a high.

“Every competition is important for us and the objective, as always, is to return with as many medals as we can,” Al Ketbi said before flying out of Abu Dhabi International Airport heading to Bogota on Tuesday morning.

“We want to always see our beloved nation’s flag raised at every international competition. It’s not only me but we expect every one of us to reach the medal rounds.”

Al Ketbi competes in the 94 kilogramme weight, Obaid Al Nuaimi in the 56kg, Saeed Al Mazrouei 62kg and Saood Al Hammadi in the 77kg.

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“It’s a World Championship and obviously a very strong competition from the very first fight all the way to the end, but that’s not new for us anymore,” added Al Ketbi.

“We have been in the world circuit for quite a long time and we have a fair knowledge of the competitors we may face. There are a lot of word renowned names but eventually it will be the best fighter on the day.”

“The World Championship in Colombia is one of the biggest challenges our team will face,” said Yousuf Al Blooshi, technical director of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, who is accompanying the team as manager.

“Everything that our players have been through in previous championships was in preparation for this historical opportunity to raise the UAE's name high in the most important international arena.

“Our ambition is to win. Our goal is to increase the UAE's international presence in this sport and our spirits are at the highest, thanks to the experience we have gained from previous international, continental and local championships.”

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