UAE sport - Jiu Jitsu
The Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City will showcase the best of Emirati Under-18 talent this Friday-Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: The Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City will roll out its mats again this Friday for athletes aged between 16 and 17 for a two-day competition. Open to participants from all UAE clubs and academies, it provides the chance to test themselves against the best in the country and walk away with cash prizes.

As with last week’s well-attended President’s Cup for Under-16s, the Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup for Under-18s will take place Friday-Saturday, April 15-16, and promises an eventful Ramadan evening for athletes across various weight classes. Each will compete in an open belt system, creating a highly competitive atmosphere throughout the course of two days of action.

The weigh-ins for the competitions will be held between 4-6pm on Friday, with the preliminary stage competitions starting at 9pm. The final round of competitions and coronation ceremonies will be held on Saturday evening.

“Last week, we witnessed a wonderful start to the President’s Cup championship through the under-16s competitions, which were distinguished by strong performance and high technical levels, as well as the emergence of a number of talents who proved their mettle on the mats,” said Youssef Abdullah Al Batran, a board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

“This indicates the tournament’s high technical value as well as the sport’s progress in the UAE. The President’s Cup is one of the most prominent events in the country and highlights the efforts made by local clubs and academies – in collaboration with the UAEJJF – to identify local talents and prepare them for international competition.”

According to the official, the updated format for the President Cup benefits both the players and the clubs by separating players into Under-16, Under-18, and Adult categories, allowing clubs and academies to focus on the technical aspects of each group independently, he noted.

Elsewhere, Farraj Al Awlaki, a purple belt participant from Baniyas Club, feels that competing in the President’s Cup is an unmissable opportunity. “This year’s competition will be more challenging because of the significant improvement in the performance of players, but we are equipped and ready to repeat our title-winning performance from last season.”

The Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club won the President’s Cup in the Men’s Adult and Under-18 categories last year, while the Sharjah Self-Defence Sports Club took home the title in the Under-16 category.

In the women’s division, Palms Sports Academy took first place in the Adult category while Sharjah Self-Defence Sports Club won in Under-18 and Al Wahda Club won in Under-16.