ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Wednesday saw the competitions for the masters’ division take place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City, with the UAE’s Commando Group asserting its dominance by taking the top spot.
Athletes over the age of 30 took part in the blue, purple, brown and black belt categories on the fifth and sixth days of the nine-day jiu-jitsu carnival. After two days of intense action, the Commando Group took the lead while AFNT finished in second, followed by Kazakhstan National Team in third.
The contests were attended by Abdul Moneim Al-Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, president of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union, and senior vice president of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation. Also present was Mohammed Salem Al-Dhaheri, vice chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Other officials in attendance were Rashed Lahej Al-Mansoori, director general, general administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi; Saeed Al-Fazari, executive director for support services sector, DCT Abu Dhabi; Matar Al-Nuaimi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre; and Fahad Ali Al-Shamsi, secretary general of the UAEJJF.
Al-Shamsi congratulated the athletes. “Six days into the launch of the championship, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is winning accolades from various quarters from across the world. We are humbled by the appreciation we are receiving. It inspires us to continue our efforts to take the sport to greater heights,” he said.
Al-Shamsi said the success of the event could be seen by the packed stands and urged fans to turn up for the contests featuring some of the world’s most accomplished professionals starting on Friday.
Saudi athlete Muhammad Al-Yami, who travelled from the US to compete, won gold in the Men’s Blue Master 2 (62 kg) division. He said it was a chance he “couldn’t pass up. Many of my family members and friends came to watch me fight and cheered me on. My gold medal achievement came as a happy surprise for them.”
Cinthya De Paula Oliveira from Brazil, who competed for Icon Jiu-Jitsu Team – International, captured gold in the Women’s Blue Master 1 (70 kg) division. “Honestly speaking, Brazilian athletes like the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
“Everybody was counting on this championship. It’s wonderful that I was able to win the medal, but more than that, it’s a great event where we can reconnect with old friends and make new ones in the jiu-jitsu community,” she added.
Valmyr Neto from the UK’s Checkmat International club, who scooped gold in the Men’s Black Master 2 (62 kg) division, was ecstatic after grabbing the medal.
“The UAE, especially Abu Dhabi, is the land of real opportunities. All you need to do is prepare, show courage, and perform. If you do these three (things), you will get the desired outcomes. The tournament is fantastic in every way, and I want to return next year.”