This past Friday, November 26 the Jordanian tryouts for the Abu Dhabi World Pro, to be held in the Emirates in 2011, took place.
Emirates Team coach Alex Negão went to Amman to serve as referee. Upon his arrival, he was called over by another black belt, Zaid Mirza, who organizes the event. The two had the following dialogue:
Negão, pay close attention to that kid. That pasty white one up front. He’s big, but he’ll turn sixteen this week.
You’re kidding me! Do they drink camel milk here, or what?
Faisal Souqi, a Jordanian blue belt of just sixteen years of age and 1.85 meters (6’1”) tall, is a calm kid on and off the mat. Off it, the boy is a bit introverted and extremely polite. On it, his nerves are unshakable. He took third at the last Abu Dhabi World Pro when he was fifteen.
Remind you of anyone? To Alex Negão, he does.
Dude, the boy reminds me of a young Roger. Even their games are similar. Imagine him at twenty, oh man.
Well, no one was up to par with “Roger of Jordan.” Even the hard-nosed military men succumbed to his simple and efficient technique. The boy reigned the under-92 kg division before the eyes of Prince Husein Mirza, who was attending the event, and the Abu Dhabi Sport TV camera broadcasting the tryouts to fifty nations.
When time for the final came, I switched spots with Alex as sideline referee:
Sorry, Negão, but I have to watch this one seated.
As expected, Faisal shot ahead in score and capped it off with an indefensible triangle. He then calmly left the mat, all set to stamp his passport for Abu Dhabi.
Check out the video of the young man with the potential to become a local hero down the road: