Dubai [UAE], June 4 (ANI/WAM): The sixth edition of the Vice-President's Jiu-Jitsu Cup got underway at the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, with the participation of elite clubs and highly ranked athletes from across the country. The preliminary round competitions took place on Saturday, showcasing the fighters' exceptional performances and setting the stage for an exciting finals day tomorrow.
The championship began with the official weigh-in sessions for all participating categories, including Under 14, Under 16, Under 18, and Adults. The event featured a diverse group of emerging talents and classified athletes from prestigious clubs and academies giving excellent performances eyed enticing prizes worth more than Dh 1 million.
Yousif Al Batran, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, highlighted the remarkable performance of players on Saturday. He said, "I want to appreciate Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai Club for hosting the championship, which is considered one of the most important local tournaments and contributing to organising it in such a perfect way."
"The championship provides an important platform for clubs and academies to test skills of the athletes and evaluate their progress, especially as the competitions are held in an open belt system, which yields positive outcomes in terms of performance development and gaining valuable experience," he added.
Meanwhile, Thani Majid Binsuleiman, Director of Combat Sprots at Shabab Al Ahli Club, emphasised that the club's management is diligently implementing a strategic plan to promote combat sports, particularly jiu-jitsu, and establish a strong foundation for the development of champions and talents. He said, "The Vice President's Cup holds great significance for the clubs as it spotlights athletes from across the country, refining their skills, and preparing a formidable generation of athletes."
"We have already started reaping the rewards of our long-term strategy to nurture future talents. Three of our athletes have successfully reached in Under 16 and Under 14 finals and bronze matches in today's competitions, showcasing the positive outcomes of investing in the future stars," he added.
Pablo Mantovani, coach of the Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club, said his club not only aims to retain the title of the Adult and Under 18 categories but also aspires to add the title of the Under 16 and Under 14 categories. "We worked hard during the last stage to invest in the Under-14 category, and this category is considered one of the new categories for many clubs. The Vice President's Jiu-Jitsu Cup represents the real test that enables us to evaluate the results of our work and to build on them in the future."
Mustafa Al-Hanafi, a member of the training staff of the ADMA Martial Arts Academy, said, "Our significant breakthrough in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu began this current season specifically with the Jiu-Jitsu President's Cup and the recent Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship, where we achieved over 15 colored medals." He emphasised that jiu-jitsu holds a high priority for ADMA Academy, and they have an integrated programme aimed at joining the ranks of elite academies in the coming years.
Khaled Al Shehhi, an athlete from Al Ain Club in the Adults category, expressed happiness at qualifying to the finals, "The Vice President's Cup encompasses all the attributes of the biggest international tournaments, gathering a distinguished group of athletes who consistently partake in international competitions. The tournament holds significant importance for us as it serves as a crucial milestone before joining the national team's preparatory camp for the World Championship in Mongolia. Our upcoming task as the UAE national team is to defend the World Championship title."
Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, who quailed to finals in the Adults division representing Baniyas Club, added, "The competition in the Vice President's Jiu-Jitsu Cup becomes increasingly intense with each edition. The clubs and academies have undergone rigorous training in preparation for the championship, with the aim of securing the coveted title. We are fully aware that our mission requires heightened effort and sacrifices. However, the players from Baniyas Club are no strangers to these challenges and possess the resilience and skill to overcome them." (ANI/WAM)