Grand Opening of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018
- H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan: ‘the Championship cements the UAE’s global status’
- H.H. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, awards medals to winners
- UAEJJF Chairman praises ‘colossal turnout and participation’
24 April 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018 officially launched today with a grand Opening Ceremony and the inaugural edition of the King of Mats tournament. The first day of the professional championship also saw professional action in the Adult female blue belt divisions as well as male and female purple belt categories in the Adult, Masters 1 and Masters 2 divisions.
The tenth edition of the Championship is held by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
H.H. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, recognized winners from the past two days of action with their medals, congratulating them on their successes and honouring their efforts.
Also present was H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Director of The Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, who praised the unlimited support provided to the sport and its athletes by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. He also acknowledged the transformational role of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in revitalizing Jiu-Jitsu and enabling achievements on a global level.
The Opening Ceremony began with a speech by H.E. Abdulmonem Al Hashemi, UAEJJF Chairman, in the attendance of H.H. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah and other high-profile dignitaries, including Sheikh Tariq Al Qasimi; H.E. Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and Chairman of the General Authority for Sports; H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council; H.E. Marwan Bin Ghalaita, President of the UAE Football Association; H.E. Khamis Buharoon Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
The ceremony was also attended by senior representatives and ambassadors of Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil, France and Ecuador.
Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi, himself a Jiu-Jitsu world champion, said: “The level of organization and number of participants that we have seen today at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has been exceptional. We are proud of the level of participation by Emirati youth today, compared with the professional athletes and champions that have travelled to the UAE from all over the world.”
He added: “This Championship has demonstrated the highly skilled level of our athletes. It has provided a high-octane environment in the capital of Jiu-Jitsu, and attracted the best athletes in the world, who have travelled here to compete. Today’s action and the victories enjoyed by the UAE’s youth are a product of the seeds planted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
In his speech, H.E. Abdulmonem Al Hashemi, UAEJJF Chairman, said: “We thank you for joining us in the largest martial arts event in the world, with more than 9,000 athletes from all corners of the earth.
“The colossal turnout and participation that we have seen for this Championship is a clear indication and confirmation that all aspects of society have adopted the culture of Jiu-Jitsu and its values. It is a reflection of the strong Emirati support enjoyed by the sport, and we must thank families and schools for their roles in garnering this momentum, as well as all of the Federation’s sponsors and supporters.”
He added: “As well as the tenth edition of the Championship, we are also celebrating the Year of Zayed, which recognizes the role of Sheikh Zayed in founding this great nation.”
Following that, Emirati children showcased a traditional folklore routine to the international audience, broadcast live around the world, accompanied by videos of the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has succeeded in attracting the most prominent and important athletes across all divisions, all aiming to win the tournaments titles. The UAE has made significant progress in Jiu-Jitsu, and has realized wide successes that have impacted our national sports sector. Through this journey, the UAE’s youth have become internationally renowned athletes who represent strong competition across international championships.”
Al Awani praised the efforts of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in advancing the UAE’s presence within the sport, as well as the capabilities of Emirati athletes that have represented strong competition throughout international tournaments.
Khamis Al Abaidi, Chairman of Al Ain Sports Club, said: “Coinciding with the Year of Zayed, this is an incredible edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and we thank the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation for their tremendous efforts. We are proud to be here at the Championship, and to take part in honouring the champions of this prestigious event.”
The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018 action began today with Adult female blue belt division, for women aged 18 and over.
The women’s 62kg purple belt division was won by Margot Ciccarelli, an Italian national who trains between New York, Hong Kong and Jiu-Jitsu centres in Europe.
Ciccarelli said: “The last time I got a gold medal was five years ago, when I was a white belt. I’m so impressed by the arena every year. It seems like there’s massive changes every time I come back. They’re putting a really great event on, and I really feel like they’re trying to do more for the athletes compared to any other Federation, so it’s always a pleasure coming back to Abu Dhabi.”
The Masters 1 and 2 purple belt divisions also took place today, with [DETAILS].
The Championship is open to all athletes who are UAEJJF members, resulting in more than 9,000 participants over the course of the action, competing for total cash prizes of USD 1 million.
Day two of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018 continues tomorrow with blue belt action across the Adult, Master 1 and Master 2 categories.