- Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri: “Championship saw great skill and expertise”
- Excellent show of talent shown by athletes participating in the No Gi category
Al Ain International Jiu-Jitsu Championship concluded today at Al Ain Sports Club, attracting international jiu-jitsu professionals from over 45 countries. The athletes competed in the two-day global championship organised by UAEJJF, which counted towards qualification of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. The championship was open to all local and international jiu-jitsu athletes of all skill levels and age groups.
This championship was the first international adult competition in the 2018-19 season, and is one of the most important international championships on the UAEJJF’s season calendar.
The championship saw participation of professionals from over 45 countries, as well as a big turn-out of spectators who came to witness the weekend’s competitions.
New weigh-in rules
The UAEJJF added new rules for weighing in, which were implemented at the Al Ain International Jiu-Jitsu Championship. The new rules are in line with international standards, and they will apply to all local and international championships going forward. The rules include using the No Gi weight of the player for all championships; players will not be eliminated due to an increase in weight throughout the season but instead will be moved to a higher weight category.
Al Dhaheri: This championship was an opportunity for rookies to test themselves against the best
Al Ain International Jiu-Jitsu Championship saw the participation of new players in professional categories in the UAE. This indicated the high level of readiness of Emirati players, demonstrating their suitability to participate in categories higher than their own, in order to prepare them to face international athletes.
Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF, said: “This championship was a great opportunity for our local players in every category, to interact with more advanced and skilled players from over 45 countries, helping to prepare them for upcoming championships.”
Adding further, Al Dhaheri said: “The 5th edition of this championship cements the UAE’s position on the international stage of jiu-jitsu, by competing with players from countries with higher skill level.”
Impressive performance by Emirati Athletes on Day 1
The first day of the championship provided an excellent show of skill from athletes participating in the No Gi category. The competition included various weight and belt categories. Emirati players preformed well aiming to gain a new international ranking, showing great skills that were on a par with their international contemporaries.
Gold medals were won by Ali Mohammed Al Mansouri in 73 KG category; Omar Al Hammadi in 81 KG category; Rashid Al Madani for the 94 KG youth category; Khalid bin Shamlan in 50 KG youth category; Mohammed Al Mansouri in 60 KG youth category; Mohammed Al Menhali in 73 KG category; and several other Emirati players who won silver and bronze medals.
Commenting on his win, Mohammed Al Menhali, from Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club said: “This is my first time competing in No Gi competitions and I am happy with this result today, which came as a result of long training and dedication. I would like to thank my coach and family for supporting me, and I look forward to participating and succeeding in future championships.”
Attracting International Players
The championship cemented its position on the international calendar Jiu-Jitsu competitions, by attracting international players; including the Russian Abdulkadirov Magomed, winner of the gold medal in 83 KG, brown belt, No Gi category. He said: “I am very happy with my win, which was a result of my hard training before the championship. The high level of organisation by the UAEJJF certainly contributed to my victory.”
Omar Al Najjar, from Jordan, gold medal winner in the 67 KG, white belt category, said: “This was not the first time I’ve participated in this international championship, and it definitely will not be my last. It is an honour to win a gold medal, as a result of my hard work; especially considering the high-level of competition from all the players.”
Hani Nahawi, from France, the gold medal winner in 108 KG category, said: “It was a pleasure to participate in a such well-organised international championship, and I was surprised by the high level of talented athletes participating from all over the world. This championship in Al Ain is one I make sure that I participate in year-on-year due to the high quality of participating athletes.”
Top talent on display for Day 2 of Gi Competitions
Saturday’s results saw both international competitors and Emirati’s thrive at the Al Ain Sports and Cultural Club. Notable Emirati winners included Sari Al Ketbi in the Juvenile Male Blue Belt 46kg category, Mohamed Ali Al Suwaidi in the Juvenile Male Blue Belt 73kg category and Khawla Elhadj in the Adult Female Blue Belt 62kg category.
Naturally there were numerous Brazilian and Russian athletes competing with Saturday’s GI winners including Polyana Lago in the Adult Female Black Belt 90kg category, Murilo Tavares in the Adult Male Brown Belt 94kg category and Abdulkadirov Magomed from Russia, popped up again on Saturday to claim his second gold medal of the weekend in the Adult Male Brown Belt 85kg category.
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