Al Ain jiu-jitsu club crowned winners

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ABU DHABI — Fighters from Al Ain jiu-jitsu club put on a string of sparkling performances, winning six gold medals and racking up 390 points to claim the Vice President’s Cup, organized by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), the governing body for the sport in the Emirates, at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Al Ain jiu-jitsu club’s dominating performance saw them pull well clear of second-placed Al Jazira jiu-jitsu club who tallied 306 points while Al Wahda jiu-jitsu club finished third with 175 points.

Al Wahda jiu-jitsu club also secured the title in the ‘juniors’ (under-18 years) category, scoring 466 points to best Al Ain jiu-jitsu club (460 points), and Al Jazira jiu-jitsu club (141 points).

Baniyas jiu-jitsu club held its own in the youth (under-21) category logging 555 points to, trump Al Ain jiu-jitsu club (454 points) and Al Wahda jiu-jitsu club (356 points).

Al Ain’s march to the Vice President’s Cup was spearheaded by gold medalists — Theyab Al Nuaimi (56 kg), Khalifa Al Nassrati (62 kg), Obaid Al Nuami (69 kg), Mohamed Al Qubaisi (77 kg), Mohamad Radhi (94 kg), and Hamad Al Noaimi (110 kg), which helped their side race ahead on the points table.

The third and final round of the Vice President’s Cup, conducted in strict adherence to local and federal health protocols, brought an end to the 2019-2020 domestic season of the UAEJJF and saw enthusiastic participation of some of the top jiu-jitsu clubs in the UAE.

Hazza Al Qubaisi starred in Al Wahda’s march to the youth title, recording a dominating victory in the 85 kg weight class over Al Ain’s Humaid Al Kaabi. He said that he was grateful to the UAEJJF for the impeccable organization and the chance to face-off against other elite athletes after a long break.

“All of us have been training in our homes but the feeling of getting back on to the mat, the nervous energy that a competitive atmosphere brings is just something else. I speak for the entire jiu-jitsu community when I say that I was desperate to get on to the mat.

“This tournament along with all the initiatives that the UAEJJF has taken over the last couple of months to ensure that fighters stay in touch with their beloved sport have been exemplary.”

Hamad Al Noaimi recorded an emphatic win over teammate Zayed Al Kaabi in the 110 kg class and credited the UAEJJF-organized series of camps for helping him prepare effectively and sharpen his skills before such a crucial tournament.

“I was part of the closed training camp that began in May and I have also attended the summer camp. Since May, we have been training regularly, getting access to spar with high-quality opponents at the camp, and work on our fitness under the supervision of experts. All of these aspects have contributed to my victory today and I am really happy that I could come up with a win for my team and help in getting the trophy to Al Ain.”

Mubarak Al Menhali, technical director of the UAEJJF, said that the performances of fighters across categories in the concluding round of the Vice President’s Cup were encouraging and had provided the technical team with valuable data that would be employed to further improve fighters.

“We were all really pleased with the intensity and hunger that the fighters displayed on the mat today. These have been uncertain times for everyone around the world, but the jiu-jitsu community has rallied around itself and kept working, be it training from home or in closed training camps,” he said.

“The results of that focus were clearly seen on the mat today in the quality of performances. Doing well at such a prestigious tournament always provides a big boost to a fighter’s confidence and is also a sign that the developmental process that the UAEJJF has instituted is progressing in the right direction.” — SG


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