ABU DHABI: Baniyas Club claimed the Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup men’s title for a second successive year, with Palm Sports Academy Team 777 making history as winners of the first-ever women’s championship in front of a large crowd at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The season’s end in the UAE had the five best-performing clubs and academies — Al-Ain, Al-Wahda, Baniyas, Palm Sports Academy Team 777 and Sharjah Self-Defense Club — competing in an open belt competition across under-16s, under-18s and adult categories.
Baniyas clinched the final round of the men’s championship to take the title, ahead of Al-Wahda in second and Al-Ain in third.
Salem Nayef Al-Kathiri, executive director of Baniyas Club, said: “The President’s Cup is the most valued local title and one of the most prominent championships that contribute to highlighting new talent and providing the national team with stars who are able to compete globally.”
Baniyas made it a double with victory in the under-18 competition, with Al-Ain and Al-Wahda second and third, respectively, while in the under-16s, Sharjah Self-Defense Club won the title, with Al-Ain runners-up and Palms Sports Academy Team 777 in third.
In the women’s division, Palms Sports Academy Team 777 made history with victory in the first edition of the competition. Al-Wahda showed its strength to finish second, with Sharjah Self-Defense Club in third.
Sharjah took victory in the women’s under-18 event, with Al-Ain Club second and Palm Sports Academy Team 777 third. In the under-16 women’s category, Al-Wahda won the title, Palms Sports were runners-up and Al-Ain third.
Abdel Moneim Al-Hashemi, president of the UAE and Asian federations, said: “The level of the championship has progressed and the performance has risen considerably over the years.”
He added: “The standard this year was on par with international championships and the real winner is the sport of jiu-jitsu in the country. Championships such as this are crucial in finding a distinguished group of talents capable of representing the national teams in upcoming competitions.”
Al-Hashemi said: “This has been a year of achievements for UAE jiu-Jitsu, with our competitors amassing 71 medals across continental and world championships. We also organized 24 local and international championships in the UAE, the most ever, and I thank the commitment of everybody in the jiu-jitsu family.”
On the introduction of the women’s championship, he said: “This is a landmark moment for the sport. It is important and shows how female participation is growing. The achievements of UAE female athletes are commendable and this championship will only help their development.”
Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, president of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, said: “The joy that I saw on the faces of players and coaches and their celebrations after the competition show how much they enjoy the sport of jiu-jitsu.”