UAE jiu-jitsu team win 23 gold medals at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam London
Mahra Al Hanaei, 17, adds to her gold medals from the Grand Slam events at Tokyo and Rio De Janeiro this season
The UAE jiu-jitsu team returned home from the fifth and final stop of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in London with 67 medals, including 23 gold.
One of the most notable winners was Mahra Al Hanaei, 17, who added to her gold medals from the Grand Slam events at Tokyo and Rio De Janeiro this season.
In London, she faced only one Emirati opponent, Alia Al Dhahnani, and won that fight by submission in the 57kg weight.
It went some way towards atoning for her loss to Romania’s Maria Teodorescu in the final of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation’s ninth World Championship for Aspirants and Juniors in Abu Dhabi last week.
Jassim Mubarak, who won gold in the purple belt male Masters-2 69kg summed up the mood of the travelling Emirati contingent at the final stopover on the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu World Tour by saying it was a “privilege” to compete.
“We are very grateful to have the privilege to come and compete at the Grand Slam. We work very hard to represent our clubs and country,” he said.
“We always perform to do our best. We don’t think about winning gold or silver, but we believe in hard work and it will always have its rewards at the end. And for me, the hard work paid off.”
Meanwhile, only Germany's Charlotte von Baumgarten and Britain's Arizona Brodie halted a Brazilian clean sweep of gold medals in the jiu-jitsu black belt division at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam London over the weekend.
Von Baumgarten stunned the women's world No 1 Larissa Paes in the 62kg division while Brodie outclassed another Brazilian, Laila Carneiro, in the 90kg as the two-day event concluded at London's Copper Box Arena on Sunday.
The final between Von Baumgarten and Paes in particular had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The Brazilian began strongly and was 5-0 up after a sweep and a guard pass. Von Baumgarten rallied with a sweep and an arrow-choke attempt to take a 6-5 lead and ultimately the decision.
Brodie, in contrast, was a convincing winner over Carneiro 9-0 on points in front of her home fans.
The remaining two gold medals in the women's black belt category were won by Brazil's Ana Carolina Srour in the 70kg and Natan Freitas in 77kg.
The Brazilian men bagged all seven gold medals in the black belt division and the major share of the US$125,000 (Dh459,000) prize fund.
Jose Lima won his fourth gold medal from five Grand Slam events this season with a 9-4 victory over Joao Kuraoka of Japan 9-4 in the 56kg final.
Hiago George overcame South Korea's Wanki Chae 3-0 to take gold in the 62kg weight, and Paulo Miyao edged out compatriot Victor Otoniel in the 69kg finals.
Jaime Canuto claimed 77kg gold, Isaque Braz won the 85kg division, Jackson Sousa was victorious in the 94kg and Thiago Sa overcame Poland’s Gerard Labinski in the 110kg final.
Updated: March 12, 2018 01:58 PM