The UAE topped the jiu jitsu medals table with three Golds, a silver and three bronze in yesterday’s (Wednesday) opening day of the fourth Asian Beach Games at the Patong Beach in Phuket.
Faisal Al Ketbi, Talib Al Kirbi and Khalfan Humaid won their weight divisions. Zayed Al Kaabi took silver while Ahmed Ghuloom Al Maazmi, Ali Salem Al Darai and Saoud Al Hammadi took bronze.
Al Ketbi had to go through a tough draw of fighting three opponents before earning a meeting with teammate Al Kaabi in the 90-kilogram weight final, which he won in under a minute with an arm-lock.
Al Ketbi got the better of Hai Long To of Vietnam 15-0 on points in the first round, edged out Mohammed Ali of Kuwait on advantage score but had to draw all his experience to clinch a semi-final win over Iraj Amrikhani of Iran (4-0).
Jiu Jitsu was making its debut at the Games and Al Ketbi said the level of the competition was tougher than they expected.
“It was even tougher for me because I had to face three opponents in less than one hour to reach the final. I am very glad Zayed too made it to the final,” he said.
Al Kaabi drew a first round bye and then overcame Nacif Elias 6-0 on points before clinching a split decision over Mongolian Beid Erdene Odsuren in the semi-final.
Al Kirbi ended the fight in one minute and 18 seconds with a choke on his Iranian opponent Amirhossein Khademian in the 70kg while Al Kirbi as adjudged the winner of the 80kgs when Mohammed Mansooridavar was disqualified for an illegal move when the Iranian was ahead 3-2 o points.
The UAE suffered some early setbacks when Saeed Al Shamsi was eliminated in the first round by Abdulrahman Antar of Yemen in the 60kg, the latter ending the fight with an arm lock when the scores were level at 2-2 and a minute left.
Ahmed Al Maazmi was outclassed (15-2) by Sarawut Petsing of Thailand in the second round of the same weight division.
Mohammed Al Nuaimi was another first round casualty in the 90-plus to Aliasghar Dokouhaki of Iran while Eid Raihan went down to Chakrit Chidsin of Thailand after drawing a first round bye.
The UAE have another chance of adding to their medal tally when Al Ketbi and Al Kaabi compete intoday’s (Thursday) Men’s Open, in which each of the 16 participating countries can nominate two fighters.
In the women’s event, the UAE’s sole female competitor Shafaa Hassan will face Nursoltan Ashyrova of Turkmenistan in the 60kg+plus.
Finals 60kgs: 1. Batgal Sumiya (Mongolia); 2. Ahmedreza Eidy (Iran); 3. Ahmed Ghuloom Al Maazmi (UAE); 3. Sarawut Petsing (Thailand).
70kgs: 1. Taleb Al Kirbi (UAE); 2. Amirhossein Khademian (Iran); 3. Ali Salem Al Darai (UAE); 3. Mahmoud Geragh (Kuwait).
80kgs: 1. Khalfan Humaid (UAE); 2. Mohammed Mansooridavar (Iran); 3. Saoud Al Hammadi (UAE); 3. John Baylon (Philippines).
90kgs: 1. Faisal Al Ketbi (UAE); 2. Zayed Al Kaabi (UAE); 3. Bold-Erdene Odsuren (Mongolia); 3. Nacif Elias (Lebanon).
90kgs-plus: 1. Ahmed Butt (Pakistan); 62. Anh Tung Nguyen (Vietnam); 3. Aliasghar Dokouhaki (Iran); 3. Abdullah Mohammed (Kuwait).