Olympic Games athletics results on Wednesday: Men 200m men Heat 1 (wind: -0.4 m/s) 1. Lashawn Merritt (USA) 19.94. Q 2.
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The UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, delivered impressive performances at the ongoing 19th edition of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, securing four medals, including one gold and three silver, on Thursday, the first day of the jiu-jitsu competitions. During the heated competitions held at the Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium JJI, UAE athlete Khaled Alshehi gave a strong start to the team with a gold, while Balqees Abdulla, Mohamed Alsuwaidi, and Khalid Alblooshi took home silver.
Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Deputy Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and Head of the Mission to China, dedicated the team’s achievement to the UAE’s wise leadership, the people of the Emirates, and all the partners and sponsors of the Federation. He said, “The people of the UAE had high expectations for the team on the first day, and the team put in great effort, especially since the UAE participated with six athletes. The team performed exceptionally well, with four of them reaching the podium in this competitive tournament featuring participation from champions from all across the continent.”
Mubarak Al Menhali, Director of the Technical Department at the UAEJJF, expressed that the competitions were as strong as expected. He noted that having four athletes advance to the final matches in three different weight categories indicates that he anticipates the team’s medal count to increase in the next two days.
He added, “the team spared no effort in their preparation for this tournament. We always hold great expectations because we have immense confidence in our players. Regardless of the achievements we attain, we believe there is always room for improvement, and we maintain strong confidence in their ability to earn more medals in the upcoming days.”
The Men -62Kg division saw an all-Emirati final where Khaled Alshehi and Khalid Alblooshi faced off, with Alshehi winning the gold. “After securing the gold at the Asian Championship this year, I made a promise that I would win the gold at the Asian Games. I am glad to have fulfilled my promise, and I will not cease training or rest until I achieve gold at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship next November.”
“It is truly an unforgettable moment in my life, filled with overwhelming joy. Tears welled up in my eyes because I had longed for this moment for a long time. I thank God that I have finally reached it. We must always cherish this moment, representing the flag of the country that has given us so much, placing it above all else,” he said.
Khalid Alblooshi, the silver medalist in the 62 kg weight category, also credited the UAEJJF for his performance today. He said, “The programmes initiated by the Federation for spreading and developing the sport and creating champions have led to the results we witnessed today. I am proud of today’s achievement, especially since in the final, I competed against my own teammate, Khaled Al Shehhi. When it’s an all-Emirati final, the UAE is the biggest winner.”
The fourth medal, a silver, was earned by Balqees Abdulla, who faced Filipino Margarita Ochoa in the 48 kg final. She said, “I had hoped to win the gold, but it was a tough fight, and my opponent was a black belt holder with far more experience on the mat. Nevertheless, it was a valuable experience and has provided me with many lessons that I can carry forward and apply to my performance in upcoming tournaments.”
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