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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

UAE's Faisal Al Ketbi strikes gold at jiu-jitsu World Games in Poland

Emirati also clinches a silver medal, as he shares top spot at event with Hungarian Kristof Szucs.

Faisal Al Ketbi in action at the World Games in Poland. Courtesy WAM
Faisal Al Ketbi in action at the World Games in Poland. Courtesy WAM

Faisal Al Ketbi shared top spot in jiu-jitsu with Hungarian Kristof Szucs at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland.

They won a gold and a silver each, after meeting each other in two finals, in the 94-kilogramme weight and the absolute division.

Al Ketbi got the better of Szucs by points 2-0 in the 94kg final on Friday before the Hungarian paid back in kind in the open weight by the same score on Saturday.

Al Ketbi's superb win in Poland

“The results suggest we were absolutely equal in this competition,” said Al Ketbi, the only medal winner from the UAE’s four-member jiu-jitsu squad at the 10-day Games that concludes on Sunday. “As always, every fight was tough, but Kristof proved to be the better of the lot when he reached the absolute division final.”

Al Ketbi, 29, acknowledged he would have been happier to return with double gold in a world event but satisfied he managed to win two medals.

“My target was to reach the medal round and I’m glad I managed to reach two finals,” the Emirati added.

Al Ketbi got the better of Swede Max Hederstrom by advantage points after a 2-2 deadlock in the semi-final after his win over Mohsen Hamid Agchay of Iran 4-0 on points in the weight division.

In the open weight, Al Ketbi got past Hiroshi Kuraoka of Japan, Belgian Florent Minguet and Seif Eddine Houmine of Morocco to reach the final.

There were seven gold medals up for grabs in the men’s division, six in the weight categories and the absolute class.

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Al Ketbi’s teammates Yahia Mansour Al Hammadi, Taleb Al Kirbi and Mohammed Al Qubaisi failed to reach the medal rounds.

Al Hammadi won his opening contest over Makrem Saanouni of Tunisia in the over 94kg but was edged out by Russian Aleksandr Sak on advantage points.

He suffered a second defeat by submission to Moroccan Hounime on the repechage. Al Hammadi made a first round exit in the absolute division, going down to Sak, losing on the referee’s verdict after a 4-4 deadlock.

Al Kirbi, too, won his opening fight over Daniel Hilal of Lebanon by submission but he himself fell to a submission lock to Maciej Polok of Poland in the next in the 69kg.

Al Qubaisi suffered the same fate in the 77kg. He got the better of Jonathan Charlot of Mauritius before going down to Ilk Bulut of Switzerland by points 14-0 and Maciej Kozak of Poland 6-0 in the repechage.

The Games features 60 different sports disciplines and has drawn over 3,500 athletes from 104 nations.

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