UAE athletes steal show at AJP Tour Abu Dhabi International Pro

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Winners of the AJP Tour Abu Dhabi International Pro pose for a picture with Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi and Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri after the presentation ceremony.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The first event of the new UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation season came to a stunning climax on the closing night of the AJP Tour Abu Dhabi International Pro at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City on Sunday.

The season-opening event, organised in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP), ended with Palms Sports taking first place, followed by Commando Group, and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club in third. With a series of outstanding performances on the mat, the UAE achieved first place in the country rankings with 171 medals, followed by Brazil in second place with 70 medals, and Colombia in third with 27 medals.

After an eventful opening day on Saturday, the final day’s competitions were marked by ferocious battles among adult blue belts, as well as purple, brown, and black belt professionals from around the world, all looking to enhance their rankings with the 600 rankings points a first-place win brings.

 Among the dignitaries who attended the inauguration of the event were Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Federation, and Senior Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Mohammed Yousef Al Fahim, Deputy General Secretary for Support Services of Emirates Red Crescent, Nono Delgado, Head of Mission of Lisbon European Capital of Sport 2021, Tariq Al Bahri, General Manager at the AJP, and Mubarak Al Menhali, Director of the UAEJJF’s Technical Department.

Commenting on the tournament’s success, Hashemi emphasised the strong start to the new season’s contests, stating that such international tournaments are in line with the UAEJJF’s objectives and will help Emirati athletes prepare for major continental and global events.

He lauded the UAE players for their remarkable performances and commitment to repeating last season’s achievements.

“Abu Dhabi remains the global capital of jiu-jitsu” he said. “Thanks to the wise leadership’s support and the efforts of the national team, it has succeeded in hosting and organising many international and continental championships in recent months, enhancing its position. For us, our objectives do not end at a specific limit. We’ll step up our efforts to double our accomplishments.”

Bahri said the event has cemented a prominent place on the UAEJJF calendar, adding its ability to attract athletes from all over the world has ensured an eagerness within AJP to organise more competitions both inside and outside the country in the future.

“It was not easy at all owing to the power of the competitors,” Noura Yaqout, a Sharjah Self-Defence Sports Club player who won the gold medal in the adult women’s 55 kg category, said of her feat, “But I trained hard and succeeded in overcoming numerous barriers, especially in the final bout.”

Felipe Fernandes of Commando Group Academy, who won gold in the professional Purple Belt 69 kg category, called the tournament’s level “extremely high”, adding every battle he had today “felt like a final”. Meanwhile, Palms Sports Academy athlete Omar Al Fadhli stated his gold medal win is a huge motivation as he continues his preparations ahead of his first overseas events of the year.

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