Athletes in action at Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Excitement filled the Jiu-Jitsu Arena as Purple, Brown and Black belt champions took to the mat on the eighth day of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Elite jiu-jitsu players showed off their talents and techniques in front of hundreds of jiu-jitsu fans who flocked to the Arena from all over the world.
Following the final competitions for purple and brown belt categories, the UAE’s Commando Group occupies the top place in the standings followed by Brazilian Gfteam in second place and PSLPB Cicero Costha (Brazil) in third.
Saturday’s black belt finals in the UAE’s capital will be the centre of attention for the jiu-jitsu world, and those will be followed by the highly anticipated Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards. The UAE’s Zayed Al Kathiri and Omar Al Fadhli have booked their spot in the Black Belt finals on Saturday.
Friday’s competitions were attended by Abdul Moniem Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Ju-Jitsu Union and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Jose Aguero Avila, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay, Fabricio Satiro Oliveira, Mayor of Balneario Camboriu city in Brazil, Saed Hijazi Salameh, General Manager Sales Jaguar Land Rover at Premier Motors and Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the UAEJJF.
Mohamed Bin Dalmouk Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, noted that there were some strong fights, especially from the Emirati champions, on Friday
“I congratulate Zayed Al Kathiri and Omar Al Fadhli on reaching the black belt finals. They are one victory away from making history and accomplishing a feat never achieved. I also request their devoted fans to support them wholeheartedly in tomorrow’s fight,” he said.
Dhaheri emphasised that the players’ outstanding performance in today’s matches demonstrated the UAEJJF’s successful strategy, which included providing all the resources necessary for them to hone their skills.
The Brazilian athletes who gave outstanding performances got a boost as Fabricio Satiro Oliveira, the mayor of the Brazilian city of Balneario Cambori, paid a visit to the Arena to show his support for the competitors.
“The level of competition, excellence I have seen here and Abu Dhabi’s dedication to jiu-jitsu development are all inspiring,” he said.
He added that he plans to construct a training center in his city that he said ‘will help them hold tournaments with the qualities he has experienced in Abu Dhabi and will impact lives.’
Mayed Alshehhi (purple belt) of the UAE won silver in the 56kg division, giving the hosts a strong appearance on the medal table.
“For any player hoping for a future professional jiu-jitsu career, winning a medal at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship was a huge step. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get the gold, but we must recognise that losing is a necessary component of the game. This is a lesson for me to keep improving myself and win more medals in the future,” the Baniyas club champion said.
Omar Ali Alsuwaidi, also a Baniyas player, won silver in the same division.