Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 7 April 2020

UAE's Omar Al Fadhli and Zayed Al Katheeri complete their doubles at JJIF World Championship

Emiratis completes victory in Youth and Adult divisions at the Mubadala arena

Omar Al Fadhli replicated last year's feat as he won gold in both the youth and adult divisions of the JJIF World Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The Emirati, 19, won gold in the world youths (U21) earlier in the week and completed the double with victory over Darkahn Nortayev of Kazakhstan by points 2-0 in the men’s 62kg final at the Mubadala Arena on Saturday.

Last year, Al Fadhli created history by becoming the first Emirati to win golds in both the JJIF youths in March in Abu Dhabi and the JJIF worlds in Sweden in November.

His victory in the men’s final took his record over Nortayev to 2-1 after losing to him in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games final. Prior to that, Al Fadhli won his first meeting with the Kazakh in a competition in Astana.

“To be honest, I saw it before I stepped on to the mat,” Al Fadhli said of his second gold in the nine-day championship, which concludes with the Masters on Sunday.

“I put in my mind... that’s what I wanted and I worked so hard for it. It wasn’t easy of course but here in the UAE, we are given the best support to be the best in the world. So why not be the best in the world?

“So, I did it, Alhamdulillah. It’s not about Omar Al Fadhli today but it’s about the UAE.”

Al Fadhli drew a first round bye and defeated Erdenbataar Ulzitogtokh of Mongolia by submission. He outclassed both Darson Hemmings of Canada and Anthony de Oliveira by points 2-0.

Matching Al Fadhli’s feat was teammate Zayed Al Katheeri, who completed the double by winning gold in both the youth and adult categories.

Al Katheeri, 19, had to overcome four opponents before winning the final by a choke over Saudi Arabia’s Faris Kashmeeri in the 56kg category.

“I’m happy and ecstatic to join my brother Omar to become only the second Emirati to win gold in both the youth and adult divisions,” he said.

“I wasn’t thinking I was competing in the adults division but just wanted to go out there and give my best. I took it one fight at a time and then to come out tops in the end was amazing.”

The two gold medals on the penultimate day of the competition took the UAE’s tally to three golds in the men’s division after Faisal Al Ketbi had won the 94kg final on Friday.

Al Katheeri won his opening fight by submission against Mehran Sattar of Iran and the next by the referee's decision after a 0-0 deadlock against Colombian Juan Castillo.

He won the third round by submission on Yared Dechasa of Ethiopia but the semi-finals was a tough call with the referee's decision in favour of the Emirati after another 0-0 deadlock against the Kazakh Amir Malgazdar.

Kashmeeri, 22, became the first ever Saudi Arabian to win a medal at the JJIF championship and said his aim is to prepare for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

“I use to spend a lot of time in the gym when I was studying for a hotel management degree in Switzerland but now I’m into jiu-jitsu full time, having turned professional 18 months ago,” he said.

“Zayed is very talented and he surprised me. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the silver medal and this is the start for me. I hope to participate in many competitions but my main objective is the Asian Games.”

Islam Mamimov of Kazakhstan and Moroccan Seifeddine Houmine bagged the remaining two golds in the 69kg and the 94kg-plus categories respectively.

Updated: November 23, 2019 06:48 PM

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