Bangkok is set to host the seventh Asian Ju-Jitsu Championships beginning tomorrow where the home team will be looking to retain their place at the top of the medals table ©JJAU

Thailand are set to begin their Ju-Jitsu Asian Championships title defence tomorrow on home soil as Rangsit University prepares to welcome 443 athletes for the event due to culminate next Tuesday (February 28) here.

The host nation were in formidable form last year in Manama as they topped the charts with 17 gold medals.

The Thai capital is well suited to hosting the Championships, the biggest to date, trumping the previous number of athletes in Bahrain by 180.

It has previously staged Ju-Jitsu International Federation Grands Prix, World Cup competitions, and University Championships.

A total of five disciplines make up the programme, with show, duo, contact, fighting, and the flagship events in ne waza jiu-jitsu featuring seven weight categories in both men's and women's competitions.

Nutchaya Sugun is one to watch on the Thai team as she will be looking to retain her crown in the women's under-48-kilograms tournament.

She faces a tough battle for gold against Paweena Phalakan, but there is no chance of meeting Quynh Dao Thi Nhu in the final for a second year running.

The Vietnamese athlete is not competing this time around so the country is resting its hopes on Hien Le Thi My to come away with a podium place from the weight class.

The men's under-69kg battle is likely to be one of the most hotly-contested as it features 31 athletes, the most of any division at the Championships.

Emirati star Mohamed Ali Al Suwaidi is the reigning champion and will be a tough challenge after he was named as the best athlete in the whole event last year.

Although Chinese athletes have competed in the past, this is the first time the country has sent an official delegation.

The team is made up of 36 athletes.

The men's under-62kg category is perhaps its best medal hopes as it features four fighters, the most of any class.

Cheng Ling Lei, Ma Weng Xin Nan, Ma Ye, and Zhou Xi Nan are all set to go to battle for top spot in the division.

The Championships also carries a lot of importance for future events.

It is the first competition where athletes can win ranking points for the 2025 World Games in Chengdu and will also provide a good marker for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

The sport is due to make its second appearance at the Asian Games and is expected to feature a women's programme that has doubled in size since Jakarta Palembang 2018.