ABU DHABI: The preliminary rounds of the Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup ended at Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City on Sunday with the under-18 teams of Al-Wahda, Baniyas and Al-Ain all securing their places in next weekend’s finals.
Al-Ain Club and Baniyas Club delivered strong performances to qualify for the men’s event, while Al-Wahda and Baniyas will go head to head in the women’s match.
Abdullah Al-Batran, who is on the board of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said he was impressed with the high level of skill on show.
“The Jiu-Jitsu President’s Cup 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,” he said.
“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.”
Ramon Lemos, coach of the UAE national team, said the 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 organizing strong tournaments during the holy month to maintain the players’ readiness, both physically and mentally,” he said.
“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, said the team competed strongly in all age groups and had been preparing for the championships all season.
“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,” he said.
“In the adults division, Al-Wahda Club has 14 players participating. We have achieved the runner-up spot in the past two seasons but are determined to secure first place this time.”
Meanwhile, Emirati champion and national team member Khaled Al-Shehhi attributed his success to his father’s guidance.
“Our father taught us the fundamental principles of jiu-jitsu, including the importance of patience and perseverance to achieve our goals,” he said.
“Jiu-jitsu has become a way of life for me and my brothers, and we have discovered countless other benefits for ourselves.”