The opening day of the 2017 Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Tuesday April 18 saw huge excitement and anticipation as 550 players from 70 countries in the adults and masters blue and purple belt categories took to the mats in front of a full capacity crowd and millions of viewers across the world.
The UAE team was off to a strong start, impressively leading the ranks and ending the day with a total of 22 medals (11 gold, 11 silver). Russia finished second with 9 medal (2 gold, 1 silver, 6 bronze) and Brazil finished in third place with 9 medals (3 gold, 3 silver,3 bronze) and Kazakhstan finished in fourth with 4 medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze).
Year on year, the UAE national team players continue to prove their elite skills, achieving monumental victories in the UAE and on international arenas.
Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, Chairman of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, said:
“I am very glad to be here in Abu Dhabi, the world capital of Jiu-Jitsu and host of the 9th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. I would like to thank the government of the UAE and its people for the development of jiu-jitsu and assisting in its inclusion in the Olympics.”
The most notable fighter was Khalifa Al Kaabi who gave an incredible performance with high levels of concentration, winning the gold medal in the 60kg category.
Salem Abdullah Al Goussani won the gold medal in his weight division. The 30-year-old Emirati believed he deserved his win from how hard he had trained.
“This edition of the Championships is bigger and different from before. It’s all like new and has been a fantastic surprise by the UAE Federation,” al Hosani said.
“The level of competitors has been tough but I trained hard every day, three or four times a day, even when I got injured. I deserved the gold medal.
“Everyone who came from outside of the country, they are all hungry to win. The international competitors as some of the world’s best.”
Today [Wednesday April 19, 2017], the qualifying and finals of Adults male and female blue and purple belts, and Masters 1 and 2 male blue and purple belts take place starting 11am. Stay tuned on ArabsMMA.com for all on #ADWPJJC2017.