Al Jazira secures first place as girls division competitions mark day 2 of Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival

Palms Sports - Team 777 and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club take second and third places, respectively

Abu Dhabi, May 27, 2023:  The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival witnessed intense performances on Saturday, the second day of the event, where Al Jazira club finished on top of the medal table, showcasing exceptional skills by girls across the Infant, Junior, Teen, and Youth divisions. During the competitions held at the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, Palms Sports - Team 777 and Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club also delivered commendable performances, securing second and third places, respectively.

The competitions saw fierce battles and impressive display of techniques by the athletes, accompanied by a raucous crowd that filled the stands, fervently rooting for their favorite competitors. The event also saw the presence of families who gathered at the Arena to partake in the 'Festival' atmosphere and immerse themselves in a range of entertaining and engaging activities offered alongside the main event.

The competitions were attended by His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union, and Senior Vice President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation; His Excellency Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Deputy Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation; His Excellency Mansoor Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of the Strategic Planning Sector at Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA); Mansour Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAEJJF; Hind Khamis Al Muhairbi, Director of the Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts Project; and Ahmed Al Hameli, Pensions and Benefits Supervisor at Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund and Ahmed Alhosani, Director of Strategy Planning and Future Foresight at Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, along with several officials from the Federation, clubs, and participating academies.

Mansour Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAEJJF, praised the championship’s success and highlighted that dedicating a day for girls during the Challenge Championship reflects the championship's importance in the Federation’s agenda for the season.

He said, “The role of families in supporting, motivating, and encouraging children to engage in jiu-jitsu is rooted in the understanding that the sport aids in refining and developing their personality. Jiu-jitsu equips young practitioners with essential skills to face challenges with both confidence and responsibility. The Federation’s dedicated programmes and strategic initiatives are specifically designed to cater to younger age groups, providing them with a strong foundation to pursue a career in sports and achieve complete professionalism.”

“The Challenge Jiu-Jitsu Festival goes beyond being a regular championship; it is a comprehensive sports and community experience that caters to the new generation of athletes as well as families. The Challenge Festival serves as an ideal platform for families from different regions of the country to come together and enjoy activities and events suitable for all family members,” Al Dhaheri added.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Al Hameli expressed his enthusiasm regarding the incredible turnout at the Arena, saying, “I am genuinely impressed by the crowd gathered here. In the UAE, there are thousands of athletes who have a profound connection to this sport, and the country has produced numerous champions. The UAE is rightfully recognized as a role model in sports development, organising tournaments that adhere to exceptional international standards.”

"The achievements of the UAE in jiu-jitsu reflect the tremendous efforts of the UAEJJF in promoting the sport and broadening its practitioner base, while nurturing generations that embody strength, courage, nobility, and self-confidence. These accomplishments align perfectly with the insightful vision of the UAE’s wise leadership,” he added.

Elsewhere, Deema Alhammadi from Yas School, who won gold in the Infant/White/22kg division, said, “I am thrilled with my victory, and I am looking forward to celebrating with my family by playing fun games all day. I have a great passion for jiu-jitsu, and I will proudly wear my medal to school so that my classmates can share in my achievement. Winning the prize money makes me incredibly happy, and I plan to use it to purchase the things I love.”

Maryah Reiter from Brazil, an athlete of Palms Sports - Team 777, who won gold in the Infant/Yellow/32kg division, expressed her excitement, saying, “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the gold medal. My father always believed in my skills and encouraged me to compete. I have a deep passion for this sport, and I dedicate an hour of training every day, even during vacations. I am determined to continue playing and participating in tournaments because, besides my love for jiu-jitsu, I aspire to raise enough funds to fulfill my dream of owning a pet that I adore.”

Maryam Alahmed from Yas School, who won bronze in the Infant/White/25kg category, shared her aspirations, saying, “My dream is to follow in the footsteps of Shamma Al-Kalbani and represent the national team one day. While I understand the importance of focusing on my studies, I find jiu-jitsu to be an incredible sport that instills strength in us. Participating in the Festival has been a delightful experience, and I’ve had a fantastic time bonding with my friends at the Arena.”