On the first day of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour finale, held at Zayed Sports City’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena and featured over 1,000 male and female competitors from 42 countries, Emirati athletes dominated the competition.
The UAE’s 35 gold medals in the three-day jiu-jitsu event for under-18s meant they finished ahead of Brazil and Russia, who placed second and third, respectively.
In the clubs section, Palms Sports Academy claimed first place, with Al-Ain and Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club coming in second and third, respectively.
“Today’s events saw incredible technical levels and brilliant performances by young men and women who have proved that they are on track to have a successful professional career in the coming years,” said Mohamed Salem Al-Dhaheri, vice president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
“The ability for UAE athletes to connect with colleagues from various jiu-jitsu schools throughout the world is one of the most essential components of this competition.”
“This has a good impact on honing their talent, expanding their experience, and better preparing them to compete in subsequent events.”
“Today’s results illustrate once again that Abu Dhabi Grand Slam competitions are growing huge popularity,” said Tariq Al Bahri, general manager of Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro.
“Large crowds cheered on the contestants, but more significantly, all of the competitors put up amazing performances, inspiring them to keep improving and strive for even higher outcomes in the future.”
The tournament’s first day drew a diverse crowd, with many people travelling from other nations to cheer on friends and family members.
Abdullah Fakih remarked, “My family and I travelled from Saudi Arabia to support my son Abdul Rahman, who won the gold medal.”
“I am incredibly proud of him and his achievements.”
“I’m on the stands for the fourth time since my son started competing internationally. The wonderful atmosphere and immersive experiences that Abu Dhabi and its championships provide visitors and participants are beyond words.”
“The encouragement of friends and family encourages us to always try our best,” said Abdul Rahman, a 12-year-old grey belt from Saudi Arabia’s BPG Arena Academy.
“I dedicate this triumph to them and vow that there will be more to come. I always look forward to competing in the Abu Dhabi tournaments because they provide me the chance to compete against some of the best players in the world.”
HE Mohamed Salem Al-Dhaheri, Vice Chairman, UAEJJF; Tareq Al Bahri, General Manager, AJP; and a number of officials, guests, and representatives from academies attended the ceremony.