Elite jiu-jitsu athletes from the UAE and around the world were honoured in a grand ceremony hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation following the conclusion of the 14th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, that featured 5,000 competitors from more than 100 countries. His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council, handed out awards to the winners.
The champions in several belt divisions claimed the top honours during the ceremony held at Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening. The event honoured the best athletes from all over the world.
His Excellency Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAEJJF, President of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, HE Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi Minister of State for Foreign Trade, HE Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman, UAEJJF, Fahad Al Shamsi, Secretary General, UAEJJF, Tariq Al-Bahri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro and representatives of various countries’ embassies to the UAE, UAEJJF partners and sponsors were present at the ceremony.
Congratulating the winners, His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, stressed that the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Award has become a dream for the biggest stars of the SPORT, old and young.
“The athletes who were part of the 14th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship showed tremendous skills and showcased new technical tactics. Proving that exposure to various jiu-jitsu schools benefits the players to acquire new technical skills and the overall development of the game," he said.
Al Hashemi stressed that the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has proven to be the best and largest among similar events all over the world.
“We are on the right track, and we hope to build on our accomplishments and further contribute to solidifying Abu Dhabi's status as the jiu-jitsu world capital,” he said.
Tariq Al Bahri, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP), also complimented the winners of the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Award while pointing out that many players had been looking forward to this moment all year.
“The awards are the result of dedication, ambition, and hard work. We have seen incredible competitions between the top players over the last season, so achieving victory was a challenging endeavour fraught with difficulties. The players faced extremely challenging obstacles as they advanced through 180 championships in 2022, to qualify for the awards.”
Shining on awards night were Brazilian athletes Lucas Protasio and Julia Alves, who scored the highest ranking points during AJP’s national, continental and global competitions, and emerged as the Best Men’s Black Belt and Best Women’s Brown/Black player of the year respectively. The award for the Best Master Player of the year went to Brazil’s Igor Silva. All three of them are coming off a stellar season which saw them bagging multiple medals in a range of local and international competitions.
In the Best Academy categories, Commando Group was chosen in the Best Emirati Club award.
Elsewhere, Kazakhstan was recognised as the Best Asian jiu-jitsu federation of the year.
The UAE’s Commando Group took the honours for the Best International Academy of the year category while Katiuscia Yasmira Dias and Anton Minenko took the awards for the Best African and Oceanian player awards respectively. Meanwhile, representing Europe, Rose El Sharouni took the award home. In the category of the Best Player in North and Central America, the winner was Alexa Yanes.
Julia Alves took the honour for Best South American player, which is considered to be a highly-competitive category. In Asia, the Best Player award went to Zayed Alkatheeri while Rui Neto secured the Best Rookie Player of the year award.