Members of the UAE national team pose for a picture.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
After 12 months of anticipation, the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship gets underway on Saturday in Abu Dhabi with an U-16 competition and grandiose opening ceremony kicking off the 11-day event.
Bringing together more than 2,000 athletes from 70 nations, the 27th edition of the championship, held under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, will be hosted by the UAE’s capital for a third consecutive year and will run until November 8.
Youssef Al Batran, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), thanked the UAE’s visionary leadership for their support of the jiu-jitsu and the sports in general.
“The UAE and Abu Dhabi – the global capital of jiu-jitsu – are fully prepared to host and receive guests, including athletes, fans and extended delegations from participating nations worldwide,” said Al Batran.
“We are all set to serve them an unforgettable experience at all levels.
“The championship’s return for the 3rd year in a row demonstrates Abu Dhabi’s extraordinary capability in staging the biggest events and tournaments in a way that models event organisation for the rest of the world.”
Prior to Saturday’s opening fights, the UAE National U-16 squad finished its weigh-ins on Friday.
The players were confident as they finished their final preparations and officials from the UAEJJF paid a visit to energise them and increase motivation to best represent the country.
Ibrahim Alhosani, the junior national team’s coach, said the players are well prepared for the competitions and urged fans to come out and show support. “The members of our national team are mentally and physically fit to provide a remarkable performance in line with the hopes and expectations set forth for them,” he said.
“The team is eager to utilise the skills and techniques they have practised on the ground when they hit the mats.
“Due to the abundance of talent in the nation’s clubs and academies, it was challenging to choose athletes who can help keep the country’s accomplishments alive at the World Championship. This is a significant proof of the Federation’s strategy to build a strong, competitive team with a core of key players in the first team and a group of equally good substitutes capable of bringing the desired results.”
Faisal Mubarak, a member of the national squad competing in the U16 (66kg) division, said: “I and my colleagues are ready for this decisive moment, and we will deliver a strong performance worthy of the name of the country. We are optimistic that we can retain the title from the previous year, and we will make sure to fulfil our responsibilities completely and win the most medals.”
The men’s U-16 team includes Mansoor Alblooshi, Eysa Alblooshi, Theyab Aldarmaki, Ahmed Alshamsi, Hasher Alkaabi, Obaid Alketbi, Mansoor Alhassani, Ammar Alhaammadi, Theyab Almemari, Mohammed Alsada, Rashed Aldaheri, Hamad Almahrooqi, Ahmed Andeez, Faisal Nubarak, Salem Hamoud, Ali Altenaiji, Manea Abdulrahman, and Abdulla Aldarmaki.
The women’s U16 team consists of Haira Aldaheri, Shareefa Zayed, Amna Alhosani, Dana Albraiki, Meera Alhosani, Mariam Hassan Ahmed, Khuloud Altaher, Alanood Alharbi, Shamsa Alameri, Zamzam Alhammadi, Maitha Almezaini, Hessa Almehairbi, Shahad Alseqtri, Umalkhair Ali, Jamela Alrasbi, Khuloud Alblooshi, and Alhanoof Almarzooqi.
The championship will be held from Saturday to November 8, and the national team will participate in the first day’s competitions for the Under-16 (boys) category, followed by Under-16 girls on Sunday.
Competitions for Adults, both men and women, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday for various weight divisions while on November 6, men and women in Under 18 categories will take to mats. Competitions for Under-21 will be held on November 7 and Masters and Para Jiu-jitsu categories will test their skills on Tuesday, November 8.