ABU DHABI, -- H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, today awarded medals to the winners of the 9th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Khalid al Nahyan, Sheikh Saeed bin Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Sheikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education for the UAE, and Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, Chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, attended the event.
The event with prize money of AED3 million was being held at the IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City from 10th April and welcomed over 7,000 competitors from more than 100 countries. This year a new category para jiu-jitsu was included.
"The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has become an international festival and a regular fixture, confirming Abu Dhabi's status as the capital of jiu-jitsu. Passing the qualifiers and reaching the final stages is an achievement in itself," Al Hashemi said.
"We are continuing the work to prepare a future generation of champions. We have an amazing generation of players. We are constantly working on developing programmes to improve and enable them to advance and compete on an international level, and raise the UAE flag in the future," he added.
UAE's Ibrahim al Hosny and Mohammed al Qabassi won the gold medals in their respective categories on Friday.
Captain Faisal al Ketbi, Talib Al Kirbi, Ahmed al Maazmi and Yahya Mansour represented the UAE on Saturday.
Mansour, fighting in the 110 kg Master 1 brown belt category, dominated the match against Brazilian Fabio Nascimento. After scoring two points early on when he reversed a takedown attempt, Mansour proceeded to control the rest of the fight and close out the victory to take UAE's first gold medal of the day.
"The level of competition is getting better every year, and I am very happy to win this gold medal," Mansour remarked.
"I was the underdog, but I went on the mat, gave my best effort and managed to get the victory and raise the UAE flag. Thanks to the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, jiu-jitsu is booming in the UAE. The UAE has climbed up to second place behind Brazil," he noted.
Al Kirbi, Al Maazmi and Al Ketbi added silver medals to the UAE's tally.
The final results for the professional championship are as follows: Brazil came first with a total of 184 medals (68 gold, 53 silver, 63 bronze). UAE came second with 32 medals (15 gold, 16 silver, 1 bronze). United States came third with 29 models (10 gold, 11 silver, 8 bronze).
The Battle of the Legends was fought on Saturday.
In the highlight match, Wellington 'Megaton' Dias versus Helio Moreira, Diaz maintained the dominant position for over half the fight, but Moreira eventually flipped Diaz onto his back, picking up two points before holding on for the win.
"It was a tough day for me because after 22 years I fought again. I did not have enough time to train. I trained for three weeks, but the mat is my land," Moreira commented.
Tomorrow, April 23rd, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation will host the Annual Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards Night at Emirates Palace Hotel. The memorable evening will recap the successful 2016/17 season and honour the key players, schools and clubs who have helped to grow the sport in the UAE over the past 12 months.
Source: Emirates News Agency