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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

UAE's Hamad Nawad delighted with gold medal success at Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

  • The teenager prevails in the 56kg final against Lucas Pinheiro at the Mubadala Arena
  • Humaid Al Kaabi has to be content with silver in the blue belt 62kg competition
  • Mohammed Al Amri, Ibrahim Zahi and Salem Al Hosani also win gold for the UAE
<p>Hamad Nawad&nbsp;celebrates his success at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.&nbsp;Antonie Robertson / The National</p>
Hamad Nawad celebrates his success at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Antonie Robertson / The National

Hamad Nawad has no plans on sitting back and relaxing despite being one of four Emirati gold medalists at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship yesterday.

“This win is already behind me and I’m back in training from tomorrow,” Nawad said after his victory over Brazilian Lucas Pinheiro by points 4-0 in the blue belt 56-kilogram final at the Mubadala Arena.

Nawad, 18, scored twice from two take-downs in the final after a resounding victory over his national team colleague Khalifa Nassrati Al Blooshi by submission in the semi-finals.

“All fights were tough and that’s not surprising at this level,” said Nawad who had to overcome four opponents before reaching the final.

Nawad trailed Al Blooshi in points 2-0 before he caught his opponent off-guard to end the fight with a foot-lock.

It was straightforward for him against Pinheiro in the final, winning an early two points and doubling it towards the end.

“I couldn’t reach the medal round last year,” he said. “I worked harder and came into this competition better prepared. But this is part of the sport. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose even if you come well prepared.

“I’m obsessed with my training. I train everyday because when I don’t, I feel an emptiness in me.”

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Nawad is now looking forward to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

He will join the national team squad for a month-long camp in Los Angeles but said his preparations have already begun.

Humaid Al Kaabi, Nawad’s teammate, suffered defeat at the hands of Brazilian Fabricio Junior in the blue belt 62kg final.

The Emirati, 18, had won against the same opponent in the Grand Slam London last month but he could not replicate that effort this time around.

Al Kaabi took a 2-0 lead but the Brazilian levelled it at 2-2 before a triangle choke ended the fight halfway through the six-minute final.

Junior celebrated his first visit to Abu Dhabi with the gold while Al Kaabi blamed a sore wrist from the five fights earlier as the main cause of his defeat.

“I don’t want to make that as an excuse but I can take some positives from my first competition in the adult division,” said Al Kaabi, who won four of his previous fights by submission and the semi-finals by advantage points over compatriot Saeed Al Mazrouie.

Junior had to go through the same number of fights but insisted winning gold on his first visit to Abu Dhabi was a most memorable one.

“It’s not only the time once can achieve this feat first time,” he said. “I can’t say if I’ll be back next year but for sure I’ll remember this win for a long time.

The UAE’s other three gold were won by Mohammed Al Amri in the blue belt 85kg, Ibrahim Zahi in the blue belt 51kg Masters-1 and Salem Al Hosani in the blue belt 62kg Masters-1.