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Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship: The UAE’s Faisal Al-Ketbi strikes gold

Abu Dhabi: The sixth edition of Abu Dhabi’s World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship got underway in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, with local hero Faisal Al-Ketbi securing gold in the brown belt 100 kg category.

The first day of the competition saw fighters compete in a variety of categories for each belt division.

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has become one of the premier jiu-jitsu competitions in the world, with this year’s edition seeing more than 2,500 fighters from around the world competing in the tournament.

All eyes on Thursday were on local fighter Faisal Al-Katbi ,who was competing for the brown belt in the 100 kg category. He went through the qualifying rounds in the morning before defeating American fighter Hans Robert Borchardt in the final by submission to secure his gold medal.

It was Faisal’s fifth medal success at the tournament, and he has the chance to add more medals to his name when he competes in the open-weight competition on Saturday.

Of his victory, he said: “I’m happy, I’m proud, thank God.”

“This victory is not just my achievement, but our achievement, the federation [UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation}, and the country,” he went on to humbly say.

Od the future of jiu-jitsu in the UAE, and whether the country could eventually rival the success of Brazil and Japan in the sport, he confidently said: “Why not?”

This year’s Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship began with a two-day opening of the World Children’s Jiu-Jitsu Cup. The children’s event saw local Emirati children dominate the competition with 25 gold medals, 31 silver medals, and 65 bronze medals.

The World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is set to continue on Friday and Saturday, with the masters division taking place on Friday, and the open weight competitions beginning on Saturday.

All results are available at: http://www.uaejjf.org/event/info/52.

— The writer is an intern with Gulf News.