ABU DHABI: Elite Brazilian athletes asserted their dominance in the professionals’ division on the third and final day of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour finale in the UAE capital.
Meanwhile, in the club category, the UAE’s Commando Group took first place, followed by Al Wahda, and Palms Sports in second and third, respectively.
Men and women in the professional division took to the mats for ranking points and cash prizes at the Zayed Sports City’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena on Sunday and the big crowd was joined by Anderson Silva, the popular Brazilian-American mixed martial artist and former UFC middleweight champion.
In the professional competitions, Brazil took first place as its athletes bagged 21 gold medals, while the UAE finished in second having secured five golds.
Abdel Moneim Al-Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, president of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union, and senior vice president of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, handed the winners their medals at the end of the three-day event, which was the finale of the season 2021 to 2022 tours that took place in Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, and London.
Mohamed Salem Al-Dhaheri, vice chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “Our men and women performed so well in front of the world’s best athletes. I am extremely proud of their accomplishments.
“The most important benefit of the competitions is that they allow our heroes to put their skills to the test against so many talented athletes, which will contribute to their preparation for upcoming tournaments, particularly The World Games in the United States in July.”
Tariq Al-Bahri, general manager of Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro, said: “As proven by the organization of more than 100 championships throughout the world and overcoming numerous difficulties and challenges, the UAE and its capital, Abu Dhabi, are progressing from success to success with each tournament. Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly the global capital of jiu-jitsu.”
Hasan Fardan Al-Fardan, chief executive officer of Al-Fardan Exchange, noted that the UAEJJF and AJP were doing an exceptional job that contributed to enhancing the country’s position on the global jiu-jitsu map.
He said: “This is in line with our wise leadership’s vision, marching us toward excellence on many levels. We’re seeing some incredible performances from a group of UAE champions who are taking on the world’s best players with excellent technical skills and zeal. It is a matter of pride and honor for us.”
National team player and member of the Baniyas Club, Zayed Al-Kathiri, was delighted to have reached the top of the podium earning gold in the brown belt 56-kilogram division, while Asmaa Al-Hosani, a purple belt from Palms Sports Academy, took bronze in the under 55kg.
Al-Kathiri said: “In preparation for the contests, I’ve been working extremely hard.” And he thanked his technical staff and fans for their support and motivation throughout.
Al-Hosani described her result as “a beautiful and unique experience,” adding that while aiming for gold, it had been “amazing” to compete against such talented players.
“I’m looking forward to representing my country and national team in future competitions,” she added.