2018 Asian Games: First-ever champions crowned in BJJ debut

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69kg podium. All photos by Ane Nunes/Gentle Art Media

[Press release.]

It’s official! Jiu-Jitsu is now part of the Olympic movement. This Friday, August 24, 2018, marked the first ever Jiu-Jitsu competition at the Asian Games, the second largest multi-sport event in the world. The 18th edition, in Jakarta/Palembang, Indonesia, will gather over thousands of athletes. Jiu-Jitsu is now part of that continent-wide movement.

The first day of competition, this Friday, at the Jakarta Convention Center, featured three weight classes; one for women and two for men. The matches were fought up to the very last second as athletes knew they were being part of a historical moment for the sport. Here is how each division played out on day 1 of Jiu-Jitsu at the 18th Asian Games.



The United Arab Emirates controlled the actions in this bracket. Hamad Nawad and Khalid Alblooshi made their way to the final with strong performances all day. Alblooshi started out in the eight finals with a toehold to finish Vietnam’s Hong Son Dao. Meanwhile, Nawad swept Kyrgzyztan’s Ariet Bekishov 2-0 to also reach the quarterfinals. The next challenge for Alblooshi came in the form of Doston Ruziev, from Uzbekistan, beat 4-0 in the quarterfinals. His fellow countryman Hamad beat Akmal Amirov by unanimous referees decision to reach the semifinals. The two Emirati reached the gold medal match in different fashion. Alblooshi imposed his game on Kazakhstan’s Nurzhan Seiudali to build a 5-0 lead and secure his spot in the final. Nawad had a lot more trouble against Mongolia’s Eerdenebaatar Ulziitogtokh. Ahead 2-0 on the board, Hamad saw his opponent nearly pass his guard. The referee considered a pass and awarded it 3 points. After the match ended, the UAE team made a formal protest and was able to overrule the score and secure Nawad in the final with a 2-0 lead. The final was fast paced and short lived. After pulling guard, Nawad was able to find a foot lock and finish Alblooshi to secure the gold medal.


1st – Hamad Nawad (UAE)

2nd – Khalid Alblooshi (UAE)

3rd – Nurzhan Seiduali (KAZ)

3rd – Kemal Meredov (TUK)


Torokan Bagynbai could not hide his happiness after the final whistle blow went out in the final match against the UAE’s Talib Alkirbi. One takedown early in the match was enough to build a 2-0 lead that secured him the gold medal. Before that, Bagynbai beat Thailand’s Banpot Lertthaisong 4-2 in the semifinals, outscored Turkmenistan’s Jelilmuhammet Hojamyradov 4-2 in the quarterfinals, and narrowly beat Kazakhstan’s Mansur Khabibulla on advantages in the eight finals. With such a steady campaign, no wonder the gold medal rested in his neck at the end of the day.


1st – Torokan Bagynbai (KZY)

2nd – Talib Alkirbi (UAE)

3rd – Nartay Kazhekov (KAZ)

4th – Banpot Lertthaisong (PHI)



Cambodia’s Jessa Khan was merciless throughout the day in Jakarta. She sailed through the division with a strong performance. She debuted against Thailand’s Swanan Boonsorn, finished with an armbar inside the triangle. Then she repeated the weapon against Iran’s Nahid Pirhadi in the quarterfinals. The place in the gold medal match came with a narrow win over Jenna Napolis, from the Philipines, beat 1-0 on advantages. Khan’s opponent in the final would be Marha Alhinaai, from the UAE, who also had a great showing in Jakarta. She beat Bayarmaa Munkhgerel from Mongolia on advantages in the quarterfinals and then Vietnam’s Thi Minh 14-0 in the semifinal. The gold medal match was short lived as Jessa put her guard to catch Mahra in a triangle that eventually became an armlock that forced the tap.


1st – Jessa Khan (CAM)

2nd – Mahra Alhinaai (UAE)

3rd – Thi Minh (VIE)

3rd – Margarita Ochoa (PHI)

The Jiu-Jitsu competitions at the 18th Asian Games, in Jakarta, continues this Saturday, August 25, at 10AM. The program features Men’s -62kg and -92kg and Women’s -62kg. For more info, click here.

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