Saudi Wrestling Champion: Jalal Al-Omari.
Jalal Saleh Al-Omari, is a 33 year old professional Saudi Arabian Wrestler. He won the Saudi Arabian Wrestling Championship in 2017 (Heavy weight division) , came in second in the Bahrain International Wrestling Championship, as well as many other championships in different regions of Saudi Arabia. In 2019, he suffered from a few injuries, which slowed down his wrestling career a little bit. However, he plans to bounce back, as he already joined the SWF (Saudi Wrestling Federation) in Riyadh and is auditioning to be in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) this year.
What were your beginnings in Wrestling?
At first I wanted to be a combat fighter and play sports such as Tikoundo, boxing, kick boxing and Jujitsu. I was getting ready to be an MMA fighter but , my father refused my participation in the sport and I respected his decision. I got introduced to the world of wrestling as a mere coincidence in 2017. I was at the "Platinum Fighter" gym and ran into my current coach "Rahmat Allah Goa". He told me that I had a strong body and incredible agility for my size, he said that if I got into wrestling I would dominate. I finally started training and preparing for the Kingdom's Wrestling championship, with God's grace, I was able to take first place and become the Kingdom's heavyweight champion.
How did you feel after winning your first championship?
The feeling of winning a championship is an amazing and beautiful feeling. Because when that medal is placed around your neck, you remember all of the blood, sweat, tears and pressure you went through preparing for the championship. You also remember how you had to isolate yourself from the outside world and shift all of your focus onto winning the fight. It truly is an indescribable feeling.
Can you tell us about the wrestling sport and culture in Saudi Arabia?
Wrestling is very popular in Saudi Arabia and we have many good fighters here, that is in the Roman Olympic Wrestling and not Free Wrestling such as WWE, just to distinguish between the two. However, both require an enormous amount of effort and preparation. The WWE signed a 10 year contract with the Saudi Sports Authority, to host live shows as well as train and enroll Saudi Wrestlers to participate in the company's programs. Wrestling is part of our traditional Arab culture, almost all men have part-taken in it especially in schools, but they don't call it wrestling, they call it "Mutara7a".
Do you feel like you received the support and coverage you deserve as a Saudi Wrestling Champion?
I like the question, I'll answer it with another question, of the many Saudi Wrestling Champions there are, how many do you know of??
Since the WWE is very popular in Saudi Arabia, do you think that there will one day be a Saudi Wrestling Organization that will rival The WWE?
I don't think it will rival the WWE but, I do believe it will be under the WWE's umbrella. I also believe that there will be many Wrestling Unions through out the different regions of the country, like the "SWF" in Riyadh, in the coming years. It would only make sense, since we have talented wrestlers all over the country.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
God willing I have the health and receive the support I need in 10 years, I believe I will be the first Saudi wrestler to be the World Wrestling Champion in the WWE. If I am not able to reach that feat, I definitely plan to be the person who trained the first Saudi WWE champion. Either way, God Willing, there will be a Saudi Wrestler to bear the title in the next 10 years.
What kind of support do you wish to receive from the government and society?
I wish to receive the proper media coverage and have more media publications share our stories and achievements. If the media were to shed light on sports such as ours, people will start to know about us, I've met people who had no idea that there's a Saudi Wrestling Federation. With the proper coverage and placement, we will be able to find sponsors and push our industry forward.
Check out Jalal's instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/jalal_thebeast/
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