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Page last updated: April 24, 2019
  • Wednesday, April 24,2019


His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Interior, today inaugurated the 11th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Following a majestic performance entitled Land of Peace’ - conducted by hundreds of students from UAE schools for the official Opening Ceremony of ADWPJJC 2019 - His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Zayed also awarded winning athletes from multiple divisions on the ADWPJJC 2019 podium.
VIPs from across the Emirates watch Land of Peace’ – the official Opening Ceremony of ADWPJJC 2019
HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan was joined by a delegation of high-ranking VIPs, including: His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs’ Families Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Office; His Excellency Sheikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qassimi, a member of the ruling family of Sharjah and Chairman at Emirates Global Funding Group; Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Khalid Al Nahyan; Sheikh Zayed bin Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Hamed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change Environment; His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director of Presidential Protocols at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; H.E. Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police; His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, Chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union Senior Vice President of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation; His Excellency Aref Hamed Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council; and Board Members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Official inauguration of ADWPJJC 2019
A highlight moment of the ADWPJJC 2019 came when Balquis Abdul Karim, a jiu-jitsu athlete, delivered a speech on behalf of His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, welcoming visitors from across to Abu Dhabi - the capital of tolerance and the home of jiu-jitsu.
Balquis Abdul Karim said: It is an honour to welcome the world to the 11th Abu Dhabi World Professional jiu-jitsu Championship 2019, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the biggest supporter of the sport sector in the UAE.
As the most prestigious championship on the global jiu-jitsu calendar, this championship is a dream for athletes from around the world with thousands of local and international jiu-jitsu heroes competing in our beloved capital, the home of jiu-jitsu. The 11th edition of ADWPJJC coincides with the UAE Year of Tolerance, which reaffirms the UAE as a global destination for diversity, multiculturalism, dialogue, and acceptance of others, said Balquis Abdul Karim.
Land of Peace’ Opening Ceremony impresses full-house at Mubadala Arena
Performed by 200 Emirati schoolchildren the Land of Peace’ Opening Ceremony was a patriotic celebration of UAE culture and heritage featuring traditional music and Ayala show.
Reflecting the UAE’s Year of Tolerance and the nation’s commitment to the principles of dialogue, co-existence and openness to different cultures, races and faiths, Land of Peace’, also included a lightshow in the colours of the UAE flag, and historical and contemporary video footage of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.
International Jiu-Jitsu stars take to the mats
On the first day of the ADWPJJC 2019, adult male and female athletes holding black, brown, purple and blue belts contested matches in numerous weight categories ranging from 49kg to 110kg.
With athletes from 79 countries and 220 clubs competing, the most represented countries in terms of participating athletes were Brazil, the UAE, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Continents collide as global jiu-jitsu community lock horns in UAE capital
All ADWPJJC 2019 blue and purple belt divisions for men and women were completed on Wednesday. Medals were spread to every corner of the world with athletes from Brazil, Italy, the Philippines and more all claiming wins in various divisions.
This is my first gold in four attempts in Abu Dhabi. I am so happy, this means so much to me. I am back on the top of the podium in my first big competition of the year, it’s a good start to the season for me, said a tearful Annie Ramirez, 28, from Clube de Jiu-Jitsu, who won the female’s purple belt 55kg division less than five years after switching from judo. Jiu-jitsu is my path now amd I want to dedicate this victory to the deaf students I’m teaching at home in the Philippines.
After claiming victory in the female purple belt 62kg division, Italy’s Margot Ciccarelli, from Unity Jiu-Jitsu Club, said: I love this tournament because winning in Abu Dhabi carries a huge level of prestige. The UAE is so passionate about jiu-jitsu, you can feel it on the mats. I’m really looking forward to competing here next year in the brown and black belt division.
With male athletes vying for places in Thursday’s brown belt Finals, athletes from Russia, the USA, Angola, Sweden and Brazil were among those who progressed.
With male black belt and female brown and black athletes taking part in qualifying matches for entry into Thursday’s elimination matches, hundreds of Brazilian and Russian athletes were whittled down during fiercely-contested country qualifiers.
After recovering from being diagnosed with cancer in 2017, Brazil’s Joao Rocha, who only received the all-clear from his doctors two months ago, won his country’s 110kg qualifier to reach the ADWPJJC elimination matches on Thursday. After everything I have been through, I’m very happy to win but the big victory is being here. Now, I want to win the competition, said Rocha. It will take seven fights to go from the start to champion, I have three wins – I hope I can find four more.
The ADWPJJC 2019 schedule
On Thursday’s second day of the ADWPJJC 2019, adult male brown belts will contest their division Finals, while male black belts and female black and brown belts in weight categories ranging from 49kh to 110kg will take part in hundreds of elimination matches ahead of Friday’s ADWPJJC 2019 Finals.
For more information on the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019, visit www.uaejjf.com

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