ABU DHABI: Baniyas Club and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club have emerged the big winners of the men’s and women’s divisions respectively at the Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup for Under-18s on Saturday.
Just seven days after the Under-16 competition and in front of a big crowd of fans, parents and friends, the UAE’s best young athletes, aged 16 and 17 and hailing from multiple Emirati clubs and academies, took to the mats at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi. The competition followed an open belt system.
A strong Baniyas Club won the men’s division, forcing Al-Ain to settle for second and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club to take third. In the women’s division, Sharjah defeated Al-Ain to secure first, while Al-Wahda Club settled for third.
“One of the most noteworthy aspects of this tournament is the extraordinary performance of the women athletes and their technical level,” said Fahad Ali Al-Shamsi, secretary-general of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. “This is a result of the federation’s efforts to increase participation of the women’s team in local and international tournaments.
“Allocating separate competitions for the Under-18 category during the current season is proving highly beneficial. This comes within the UAEJJF’s framework of supporting and refining talents, as well as providing a competitive environment that paves the road for achieving excellence at all levels.”
Salem Nayef Al-Kathiri, executive director of Baniyas Club, said: “The President’s Cup is close to our hearts, therefore clubs competed furiously to win the title. It was our ambition to win the tournament and retain the title. We overcame many challenges, but thanks to the constant support of the club’s management and the efforts of our players, we were able to win the championship. We congratulate Al-Ain Club and its players on an outstanding performance also.”
Raja Al-Muhairi, who helped Sharjah to take the women’s title, and Khaled Muhammad, the men’s player from Baniyas, both put their titles down to the intensive pre-competition training that had gone into their preparations.
“The achievement was the result of following an aggressive training program that made us fully prepared to confront our tough competitors, who also prepared strongly for the tournament,” Al-Muhairi said.
Muhammad said: “I’m delighted for securing first place and proving our quality by retaining the prestigious title. I thank God for this victory. My colleagues and I put in a lot of effort in training to prepare for this competition, which is one of the most important local championships held under the UAEJJF’s supervision.”
Following the competition, an awards ceremony for the winners was held in the presence of Mohamed Salem Al-Dhaheri, vice chairman of UAEJJF.