Abu Dhabi: The Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup preliminary rounds concluded at Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City with the under 18s division showcasing impressive skills and determination. Three clubs, Al Wahda, Baniyas, and Al Ain, secured their spot in the finals next weekend.
Both Al Ain Club and Baniyas Club delivered strong and convincing performances, enabling them to qualify for the men’s category final and compete for the title while Al Wahda and Baniyas will go head-to-head in the women’s category final to determine the ultimate winner.
Youssef Abdullah Al Batran, a board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, expressed his satisfaction with the high level of skills displayed by the athletes during the preliminary rounds. He further stated, “The Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup Championship is a priority for the athletes as it enables them to engage with a group of experienced players who have a long history in the sport.”
“Since its inception seven years ago, the championship has been a driving force behind the motivation of local clubs to invest in the development of the next generation of players, and to continually improve their performance.”
Commenting on the overall level of the tournament, Ramon Lemos, coach of the national jiu-jitsu team, confirmed that the Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup provided Emirati players with the perfect opportunity to enhance their skills.
“Several international events await us in the coming months, and I commend the efforts of the UAEJJF in organising strong tournaments during the holy month to maintain the players’ readiness, both physically and mentally. We are aware of how challenging it is to engage in sports activities while fasting, but the players always prove that they are capable.”
Ahmed Khamis Al-Junaibi, the administrator of Al Wahda Club, expressed the club’s determination to secure first place in the adult category, stating that the team competes strongly in all age groups and has been preparing for the season to compete in all championships. He further added, “We participate in all tournament categories with a large number of male and female players who have trained vigorously over the past few weeks to win the President’s Cup title. In the Adults division, Al Wahda Club has 14 players participating, and we have achieved the runner-up in the past two seasons, but we are determined to secure first place this time.”
Mohammed Anas Al Shehhi, the proud father of Al Ain Club’s talented players Khaled, Omar, and Rashid, expressed his excitement and enthusiasm about the ongoing championship. He went on to say, “Our boys have been relentlessly preparing for this tournament, and we have even set up a dedicated training hall at home with mats that replicate those seen in jiu-jitsu arenas. We want our boys to experience the same level of training and competition that they would encounter at their respective clubs or other training centers. I have many memorable moments of my sons performing exceptionally, but Khaled’s gold medal in the 2018 World Championship has remained firmly stuck in my memory, especially as he followed it up with another gold medal just a month later in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.”
Meanwhile, Emirati champion and national team member Khaled Al Shehhi attributed his success to his father’s teachings and guidance, saying, “Our father taught us the fundamental principles of jiu-jitsu, including the importance of patience and perseverance to achieve our goals. Jiu-jitsu has become a way of life for me and my brothers, and we have discovered countless other benefits for ourselves.”
Balqees Abdulkareem, a player from Baniyas Club, stated that they are determined to reclaim the title again this year, after having won it in the last season. “The feeling of winning the championship and standing on the podium is incomparable. It’s an experience that we will never forget, and we have worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality once again.”