Home heroes raised the UAE flag high with a series of strong performance on day three of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) at Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena on Thursday.
The world’s best jiu-jitsu athletes took to the mats to compete for glory in purple and blue belt categories at the world’s largest and most prestigious jiu-jitsu event, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The UAE’s athletes stood tall among the global elite on a day of fierce first day of competition for professional jiu-jitsu stars at the home of jiu-jitsu. The UAE captured 22 coloured medals, to top the country rankings with 18,320 points, ahead of Brazil, with 9,560 points, with Russia third with 2560 points.
The championship culminates on Friday, 9 April with the world’s top brown and black belt athletes taking centre stage.
Coach Ramon Lemos praised UAE athletes for their performance on the mats after a dramatic day.
“The training never stopped for the UAE athletes, even with the pandemic, since the UAEJJF offered the players a safe environment to train and compete, and it’s paid off. All of the closed training camps and local tournaments have played a big role in helping the UAE athletes reach such high-performance levels to be able to compete against the best of the world and raise the UAE flag high.”
UAE Star Omar Al Fadhli (62-kgs) who captured the gold medal with victory over Brazilian Macley Silva in the finals, said: “My final fight was amazing as I fought with strong competitor from Brazil, and have proved to myself that I am the best in the world in my division/category. Even though I started all my fights behind, everything was under control. The year is not finished, and I will be eyeing more gold medals.”
Coach Ramon added: “In Omar’s three bouts, his strategy is to let the jiu-jitsu flow and the results will play out. He just controlled the fights perfectly from start to finish with such confidence.”
Zayed Al Katheiri clinched gold against Brazil’s Everton Celio with a triangle choke submission in the adult purple belt 56-kg division. He said: “The championship was tough as it welcomed world-class athletes from around the world. I was ready for my final bout and I predicted who would be reaching the finals and planned accordingly. I have worked on the ‘triangle choke’ move in my training sessions and it got me the win in the finals.”
“I got my preparation from Abu Dhabi Grand Slam last week, in which I won the gold medal and learned from my mistakes. It was the perfect preparation for today’s bouts,” added Al Katheri.
Mohammad Al Amiri (77-kg) added another gold for the UAE in the purple belt division, beating Victor Lima from Brazil: “My last fight was tough against a strong opponent. Before the final, I studied my opponent’s moves with my coach and set my game plan accordingly. Thankfully, I captured the gold and took my opponent down in the last 20 second.