Champions across 23 categories honored for performance, determination and tolerance as thrilling 2018-19 Abu Dhabi Ranking Series draws to a close
UAEJJF Chairman Al Hashemi: “Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE and across the globe continues to go from strength-to-strength”
Abu Dhabi, UAE – April 27, 2019: Jiu-Jitsu heroes from around the world were crowned at the 2019 Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards, 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. HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan honored local champions and global superstars at a glittering ceremony at Emirates Palace in the UAE capital, the global home of jiu-jitsu. The Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards brought the curtain down on a thrilling Abu Dhabi Ranking Series 2018-19.
Following the completion of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC) 2019, the 11th edition of the largest and most prestigious championship on the sports global calendar, the gala Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards recognized new heroes, champion clubs, schools and high-performing academies in 23 categories.
Hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), the official body for the sport in the UAE, the Awards ceremony was attended by a number of high-profile dignitaries, including His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, Chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union & Senior Vice President of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation; His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director of Presidential Protocols at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation (JJF) Panagiotis Theodoropoulos.
“The high-caliber of award nominations is a true reflection of the quality of jiu-jitsu witnessed throughout the 2018-2019 Abu Dhabi Ranking Series, which culminated in an intense, hugely-competitive and thrilling Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Everyone who has competed and been involved in the continued evolution and growth of our sport deserves recognition,” said His Excellency Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, Chairman of UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union & Senior Vice President of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation,
“As we continue to create new heroes and providing a platform for people to realize their dreams, it is an honor to award athletes from the UAE and six continents, as well as academies and local schools who are doing so much to help the Federation grow the sport,” added Al Hashemi.
Teams and clubs awarded for their efforts
For every jiu-jitsu hero, there is an abundance of hard work and determination away from the competition mats and the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards recognized the efforts of UAE schools, local and international clubs in growing the sport at the grassroots level. Four award categories included:
- Best Emirati Boys School: Al Maqam
- Best Emirati Girls School: Al Reef
- Best Emirati Club: Al Wahda
- Best International Academy: Gf Team
Local Heroes crowned
As jiu-jitsu continues to grow in popularity across the UAE and Emirati athletes continue to shine on the global stage, emphasised by Faisal Al Ketbi and Yahyia Al Hammadi picking up silver medals at the ADWPJJC 2019 on Friday, the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards recognized Emirati athletes in eight categories, including male and female awards across four belts.
- Best Emirati Blue Belt Youth – Male: Hazza Al Qubaisi
- Best Emirati Blue Belt Youth – Female: Hamda Al Shekaili
- Best Emirati Blue Belt – Male: Omar Al Fadhli
- Best Emirati Blue Belt – Female: Reem Abdulla
- Best Emirati Purple Belt – Male: Khalifa Mohamed Al Nassrati
- Best Emirati Purple Belt – Female: Maha Al Hinaai
- Best Emirati Brown Belt: Hamdan Ahmed Al Blooshi
- Best Emirati Black Belt: Fasial Al Ketbi
Continental champions recognized
Shining a light on jiu-jitsu’s continued growth globally – the sport is now practiced on six continents – the Emirates Palace ceremony paid tribute to heroes from Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa, South America and North & Central America.
- Best Asian Player: Massaki Todokoro
- Best European Player: Adam Wardzinski
- Best North & Central American Player: DJ Jackson
- Best African Player: Walter Dos Santos
- Best Oceanian Player: Lee Ting
- Best South American Player: João Gabriel Sousa
- Best Asian Federation: Saudi Jiu-Jitsu Federation
Recognizing the past and the future of jiu-jitsu, awards were also presented for Best Rookie, which went to Brazil’s Thailson Soares, while Best Master Player of the Year went to Igor Silva, who clinched an award for the second straight year following his 2018 honor for Best Male Player of the Year.
The main awards were reserved for two athletes who have earned hero status during the 2018-19 Abu Dhabi Ranking Series. Best Female Player Award went to Gabrieli Pessanha, the 18-year-old Brazilian who capped off a stunning series with gold in the ADWPJJC 2019 Women’s 90kg final on Friday to cement her position as world No. 1.
Meanwhile, Best Male Player Award was claimed by Brazil’s João Gabriel Sousa, who claimed ADWPJJC 2019 gold in the Men’s 69kg category, to end the Series as world. No.1
For more information, visit www.uaejjf.com
About the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation
With the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation was established in November 2012 as the official authority for Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE.
The Federation plays a leading role in supporting Jiu-Jitsu and contributing to build a strong generation of UAE athletes to excel at the local and international levels. The Federation’s role is to implement policies that develop the sport in collaboration with various government entities, educational institutions and other partners in order to advance the sport locally, regionally and globally. For more information, please visit http://www.uaejjf.com.