Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi confirmed its status as the jiu-jitsu capital of the world after five days of action in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships at Zayed Sports City over the weekend.
More than 2,500 competitors from 70-plus countries took part in the sixth edition of the annual Dh1.61 million event held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Emirati fighters did well, claiming 26 medals in total, with eight gold, nine silver and nine bronze — a best-ever haul for the host nation.
UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation chairman and president of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Abdul Munam Al Hashemi, expressed his satisfaction with the event.
“The world’s greatest fighters have come to Abu Dhabi and enjoyed an outstanding spectacle, showcasing the very best of Abu Dhabi,” said Al Hashemi. “A new standard has been set for future years and more people have taken part both on and off the mat than ever before.
“We are extremely proud of the efforts of all our Emirati fighters, especially those that won medals, but as hosts we’re equally as proud of the admiration and respect gained from the international jiu-jitsu community. The event continues to grow, and we thank everybody for their support over the past five days.”
This year’s event also saw the return of the World Jiu-Jitsu Children’s Cup, providing a platform for the next generation of talent. Mohammad Salem Al Dhaheri, vice-chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said the future of jiu-jitsu in the UAE is bright.
“The Children’s Cup nurtures future stars in the sport by providing a crucial testing point in their on-going development,” said Al Dhaheri. “We are delighted that so many of these budding stars rose to the challenge, in particular our home-grown talent, who brought home many medals this year. This year saw an increase in the amount of talent with more than 1,200 young jiu–jitsu fighters descending on Abu Dhabi for two days of competition; including over 600 elite young competitors from the UAE and 50 international youth fighters from all over the world. No other country in the world is doing more to foster grassroots talent and give once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to young hopefuls.”