United Arab Emirates News

UAE Jiu Jitsu Team Receives Hero’s Welcome After Historic Asian Games Triumph

Tears of joy, beaming smiles, and floral garlands marked the reception of the UAE’s Asian Games Jiu Jitsu contingent as they returned home to a hero’s welcome on Sunday.

The victorious team, boasting an impressive haul of five gold, five silver, and nine bronze medals, soared to the top of the medal tally. Their remarkable achievement represented the UAE’s most successful showing ever at the continental sporting event, held every four years.

The atmosphere at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport was one of jubilation. Asma Al Hosani, etching her name in history as the UAE’s first woman to secure a gold medal in martial arts at the Asian Games, was greeted by her elated family, including parents and sisters who had journeyed from Abu Dhabi, bearing flowers and garlands.

In a heartwarming moment, after embracing her parents and placing a tender kiss on her father’s forehead, Asma bestowed her gold medal upon her young nephew Hamdan, who eagerly awaited her arrival at the airport. “We knew she would bring home the gold,” beamed her sister Mira. “She worked so hard for it and was so consistent. We are proud of her.” The 16-year-old Mira, herself a Jiu Jitsu athlete, expressed her hope to compete alongside her accomplished sister at the next Asian Games.

Asma, who triumphed over China’s Jie Miao with a two-point lead, reflected on the formidable competition: “She was older and more experienced than me. She was a black belt while I am only a purple belt. The audience’s support was for her. But I knew that the entire UAE would be cheering me on, and I wanted that gold medal for my country. So, I just put everything I had into it.”

This year, the UAE clinched a total of 20 medals, including five golds, at the event held in Hangzhou, China. The Asian Games witnessed over 12,000 athletes from all 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia vie for glory over 16 days.

Faisal Al Ketbi, successfully defending his Asian Games title by vanquishing Korea’s Kim Heeseoung, noted the heightened level of competition: “In many games, we were winning by just one point or even advantage. Our opponents were good, but we were better. I am proud of the team.”

Out of the eight gold medals awarded in Jiu Jitsu, the UAE team secured four. Mohamed Al Marzooqi, from the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation, expressed immense pride in the team’s accomplishments: “No matter what training we provide, they should have the will to work hard and win medals.”

Shamma AlKalbani, another gold medalist, described her victory as surreal, recalling the critical moments of her triumph. Khalid Al Shehhi, also a gold medalist, emphasized his satisfaction with his performance and acknowledged the sportsmanship displayed in his final bout against his compatriot Khalid Al Blooshi.


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