New Straits Times


Malaysian teen upstages Brazilian fighter at jiu-jitsu meet


MALAYSIAN Adam Akasyah clinched a gold medal in the London Winter Open Jiu-Jitsu Championsh­ip on Saturday.

The 17-year-old defeated Vasco Antonio Simoes De Souse Lobo of Brazil in the final at Crystal Palace. Adam, who is with Marcos Escobar BJJ Kota Damansara, competed under Brasa, an affiliate of Marcos Escobar BJJ.

“I am very happy to have won this final, defeating a Brazilian, in a sport that they have created,” said Adam who was introduced to jiu-jitsu by his parents who sponsored his participat­ion in this championsh­ip. His other sponsor is Hyperfly.

Competing in the featherwei­ght division, blue belt Adam floored three English participan­ts to get to the final.

“All the while I was mentally prepared and kept thinking ‘I am going to win, I am going to win’, all the time.

“I was pretty nervous initially because I had taken a long break before this competitio­n. But when I stood on the mat, I had positive vibes as I had a good team who prepared me mentally for the competitio­n. It is most important that when you are competing you are mentally stronger than everybody else. It is kill or be killed,” said the champion from SMK Taman SEA who is now awaiting his SPM and O levels results.

The gold medal at the London Championsh­ip was his seventh gold medal, and the second one he won outside Malaysia, after winning his first in the Copa de Bangkok 2015 Championsh­ip.

The London Winter Open success will do much to spur him on for next Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam London Championsh­ip at Copper Box, Olympic Park.

Adam is setting his eyes on the 2024 Olympics where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will be recognised as an official Olympics sports.

“It is worth all the efforts,” said Akasyah Sabri, Head of Asset Management with MRTCorp, who accompanie­d his son to the tournament.

Adam comes from a family of martial arts enthusiast­s; his mother Haryati Yahya, who is RHB’s Head of Investor Relations, is a silat graduate while his two other siblings also martial arts exponents.

Adam is grateful for the support and coaching he had under Sifu Kenneth “Tiger Lam”, Mike Parry and Abang Saef Hud.

 ??  ?? Adam Akasyah (second from left) celebrates on the podium at the London Winter Open Jiu-Jitsu Championsh­ip on Saturday.
Adam Akasyah (second from left) celebrates on the podium at the London Winter Open Jiu-Jitsu Championsh­ip on Saturday.

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