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ABU DHABI: The AJP Tour UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024 – Gi concluded on Sunday at Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, with Commando Group securing first place.

The event, organized by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro, featured competitions in the amateur and professional divisions on the final day, with A.F.N.T claiming second and Sharjah Self-Defence third.

On Friday, competitions for the kids, infant and junior divisions were held, which saw the UAEJJ Arena academy claiming first, with Sharjah Self-Defense second, and Palms Sports third.

The teen and master divisions contests took place on Saturday and Commando Group topped the medal table, pushing A.F.N.T to a close second, and Al-Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club securing third.

“The AJP Tour UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Championship met our organizational and technical goals, attracting a sizable crowd and media attention,” said Fahad Al-Shamsi, secretary-general of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations. “It showcased world-class competitions, enabling local and international athletes, especially in the black and brown belt divisions, to test their skills and assess their physical and mental readiness in the beginning of the new season.”

“The championship, which marked the first event in the UAEJJF’s calendar, boosted the optimism of the athletes for what promises to be an action-packed season and served as a platform for discovering new talents,” he added. “Over three days, we witnessed impressive performances from emerging athletes who have high potential for growth and professional careers in the sport.”

Al-Shamsi praised the performances of the Emirati athletes, particularly in the professional category.

Tareq Al-Bahri, general manager at AJP, said the increased participation of athletes was a result of the hard work of officials at the local clubs.

“Athletes and clubs try not to miss the AJP Tour UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Championship, as it offers 1,000 AJP ranking points for the first-place winners, contributing to the enhancement of their rankings in their respective weight and belt categories.

“This will help them qualify for the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards at the end of the season, which celebrates the best individual winners, as well as the best local and international clubs and academies. Accumulating ranking points will also help athletes with other benefits, such as eligibility for travel benefits during the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship,” added Al-Bahri.

The Commando Group club had more than 200 athletes compete across various categories.

“I am proud of the performance of our athletes at the AJP Tour UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Championship,” Thiago Barreto, coach of the Commando Group, said. “I would like to express my gratitude to the UAEJJF for organizing this championship, which offered an unparalleled experience for athletes and fans alike.”

“I believe the impressive performances by the Commando Group can be attributed to the dedication of the athletes, their sacrifices, and their desire to elevate the level of their technical skills. Our players deserve the title, as they performed outstandingly, demonstrating remarkable technical prowess and determination.”

Brazil’s Christian Lara, who scooped gold in the Men’s Gi/Brown/Professional/69 kg division representing Commando Group, said: “I can’t be happier about winning the gold medal in the AJP Tour UAE National Jiu-Jitsu Championship. I faced some of the most brilliant players in the world, and the competitive atmosphere at the arena was amazing. I am sure it will enhance the physical and mental aspects of preparation for future tournaments.”

Mohammed Saeed Alketbi of Al-Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club, who won gold in the Men’s Gi/Purple/Professional/56 kg division, said: “I participated in the championship because it provides a good opportunity for me to attain full physical and mental readiness before participating in the upcoming international tournaments. I am very happy to earn 1,000 AJP ranking points, and I am looking forward to adding more in the coming days.”