Abu Dhabi: Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, honoured jiu-jitsu achievers at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu Jitsu Awards at Emirates Palace on Sunday.
The event also brought the curtains down on the 2017-2018 season.
The Abu Dhabi World Jiu Jitsu Awards honours athletes and champions across 26 categories, acknowledging best players, clubs and referees of the year. The awards followed the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation world ranking system, based on the total number of points throughout the 2017 — 2018 season.
World champion Igor Silva of Brazil was named best male player of the year with UAE-based Brazilian Larissa Paes being recognised as the best female player of the year. Best player in the Master 1 category, for athletes over 30 years, went to Brazilian Mauricio Antunes, while best rookie of the year was awarded to Matheus Felipe Da Silver Xavier.
The awards also recognised players by region which the Best Asian Player of the Year going to Joao Carlos Kuraoka, Adam Wardzinski being awarded best European player and best South American player of the year going to Silva. Matthew Leighton was named best North & Central American player of the year, Adolfo Correia was awarded best African player of the year and best Oceanian player of the year went to Lachlan Giles.
Awards were handed out to best Emirati competitors across different belt divisions, with Faisal Al Ketbi being recognised as best Emirati black belt adult of the year and Zayed Obaid Al Kaabi taking the award for best Emirati brown belt player of the year.
In the purple belt categories, Hamdan Ahmed Al Blooshi took best Emirati male player of the year and Maha Al Hinaai was named best Emirati female player of the year.