Year of Zayed Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship 2018 showcases Emirati talent and spirit

ABU DHABI, 24th February, 2018 (WAM) — Amidst unprecedented public turnout and a dazzling sporting atmosphere, competitions for the Year of Zayed Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship 2018 concluded Saturday evening. Jiu-Jitsu champions from across the UAE competed for one of the most prized titles in the country’s Jiu-Jitsu season, the “Year of Zayed” medals, which honour the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

More than 3,000 male and female athletes under the age of 18, competing across various belt categories and clubs from across the UAE took part in the Championship, which is the most renowned local Jiu-Jitsu tournament of the 2018 season.

Al Jazira placed first with 251 points (21 golds, 16 silvers and 14 bronze medals), Ajman Jiu-Jitsu Club placed second with 242 points (21 golds, 16 silvers and 5 bronze medals), UAEJJ Kids2 Abu Dhabi Training Centre came third with 185 points (16 golds, 10 silvers and 11 bronze medals) and in fourth place was Al Wahda Club Jiu-Jitsu Academy with 182 points (13 golds, 17 silvers and 14 bronze medals).


The event was attended by Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, President of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations and First Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF, Saleh Jathlan Al-Mazrouei, Chairman of Al Dhafra Club, Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO and Board Member of the UAEJJF, and Fouad Darwish, General Manager of Palms Sports.

The first day of the championship included competitions for children under the age of 10. The day witnessed the return of the “Crown Your Child” initiative launched by the UAEJJF in its previous version of the Challenge Championship, with the aim of creating a connection between families, athletes, and the Federation as the three components for building the next generation of Jiu-Jitsu champions.

The second day saw brilliant performances from the female athletes in various age groups and belt colours. All fights displayed high levels of skill and amazing competence, as Emirati girls competed for points and titles on their way to the podium.

The large number of participating female athletes in the 2018 edition of the Championship reflected the success of the UAEJJF in promoting Jiu-Jitsu amongst young women.

On the third and last day of the Championship, it was the boy’s turn to give their own high performances, reflecting the already high bar set over the weekend. The boys again competed in various age groups and belt colours. All fights displayed high levels of skill and amazing competence, as like the girls they competed for points and titles on their way to the podium. The players showcased advanced techniques which lifted the level of the competition of the spectators of the Mubadala Arena. Sheikh Mohammed Mansour Bin Mohammed Al Hamed won a gold medal in the 70kg category, he said: The competition was very strong and I felt I gave my very best, ensuring I won the gold today. I am very happy to win gold in a Championship bearing the name of our great founder Sheikh Zayed.”

Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, President of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations and First Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, said: “We are very proud to witness the exceptional success of the Year of Zayed Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship, which shows how strong the Jiu-Jitsu culture is here and how noble values are ingrained within this up and coming generation. This event reflected the real passion Emiratis have for this sport, boasting a presence in every house, school, and club. Our goal is to instill the sport’s noble values in our society as well as building moral and patriotic sentiments in our sons and daughters. Jiu-Jitsu contributes to building a stronger and more responsible generation of Emiratis.”

Al Hashemi said that the Championship achieved its objective of testing the readiness of athletes before the beginning of the Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) scheduled for March 2-4 which will host more than 700 players from more than 40 countries. Also scheduled is the Abu Dhabi World Professionals Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which will kick off in Abu Dhabi, celebrating its 10th consecutive anniversary on April 16th and will run for 14 days. He added that the Championship also succeeded in terms of attendance which exceeded expectations, as parents and crowds showed unmatched excitement and support.

For his part, Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF, said: “At UAEJJF, we look at Jiu-Jitsu as a sport which exudes culture, values, and morals all of which contributes to the next generation of successful Emiratis. The successes we have seen over the past three days make us proud of the professionalism, performance, sportsmanship, and unmatched bravery of our sons and daughters.” “The position we have built for Abu Dhabi as a universal capital of Jiu-Jitsu is the result of the determination and solidarity of our families and athletes and presents a shining example to the rest of the world,” he added.

Al Dhaheri thanked the families who are the cornerstone of raising future generations of athletes, as these families work hard to provide the best environment for their children in cooperation with the UAEJJF to raise the next generation of champions.

The UAEJJF praised the strategic partnerships for the Year of Zayed Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship as they embody the true meaning of cooperation from various sectors.

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