Winners of the opening day of 14th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship pose with dignitaries.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The 14th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the largest and most prestigious event on the global calendar, got off to a pulsating start on Friday at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City.
The opening day of the annual competition featured spectacular performances from competitors in a variety of Kids and Para jiu-jitsu categories, in the presence of raucous fans who flocked to the stands to cheer on the athletes.
Running until Nov.19, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the ADWPJJC will bring together 5,000 athletes from more than a hundred nations to compete for global honours and a winning end to the season.
On Friday, athletes in the Kids 1,2,3, Infant, Junior, Teen, and Youth divisions, as well as those in the Para Jiu-Jitsu divisions, competed in a series of matches on 11 mats and UAE topped the medals list with Kazakhstan and Russia occupying second and third places.
In the ranking for academies and clubs, the UAEJJ Team was able to take the lead while the Kazakhstan National Academy emerged as runner-up, followed by Team Gladiators in the third place.
The competitions were attended by Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Ju-Jitsu Asian Union, and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, Meera Al Suwaidi, Member of Federal National Council, Mohammed Yousef Al Fahim, Assistant support services Secretary General for Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), Mariam Musalam Almazrouei, Director of Community Service Department at Family Development Foundation, and Lubna Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of the School Operations Sector at the Ministry of Education.
Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF, said that organising the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will solidify Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a leading destination for international sporting events.
“The Jiu-Jitsu World Championship that Abu Dhabi hosted lately is still receiving accolades from all around the world. In less than a week after the event got over, the next championship returns with the presence of thousands of players from all four corners of the world,” he said.
“The success of the championship year after year and participation of the elite players would not have been possible without the unfaltering support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE as well as the instructions and constant guidance from Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office. Today, the UAE has positioned itself as a world leader in jiu-jitsu and is the main contributor to the development of Jiu-Jitsu sport in the entire world,” he said.
He congratulated all the winners for their outstanding performances on the mats today and complimented the large crowd that had gathered in the gallery to support the athletes.
The high level of attendance at the championship, according to Meera, showed that it was already a success.
“It is important to note the fantastic atmosphere on the first day of the 14th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. The participating players’ intense performance, the presence of their parents, and the massive spectators that filled the stands give a hint that the current version will stand out,” she said.