The UAE Jiu-Jitsu national team flew from Abu Dhabi to the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Tuesday to participate in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships.
Organised by the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), the World Championship will be held from November 23-27.
The UAE national team features four players in different weight categories — Faisal Al Ketbi in 94kg, Obaid Al Nuaimi in 56kg; Saeed Al Mazrouei in 62kg, and Saood Al Hammadi in 77kg.
Yousuf Al Balooshi, director of the technical department at the UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) and the delegation president has accompanied the team along with Ramon Lemos, director of training at the UAEJJF.
UAEJJF had recently held a training session for national team players, in which international experts participated to help enhance the team’s fitness prior to their participation in the World Championship.
By winning medals consistently in tournaments that test its athletes against the world’s best players, UAEJJF aims to highlight its leading global position to the future generations and gain international expertise.
“The national team’s participation comes as a continuation of a series of remarkable achievements from previous world championships. The World Championship in Colombia is one of the biggest challenges our team will face. Everything that our players have been through in previous championships was in preparation for this historical opportunity to raise the UAE’s name high in the most important international arena,” said Al Balooshi.
“Our ambition is to win. Our goal is to increase the UAE’s international presence in this sport and our spirits are at the highest thanks to the international experience we have gained from previous international, continental and local championships.”
One of the most prominent players in this tournament, world champion Faisal Al Ketbi confirmed that the team are ready to achieve their best results , stating: “My team-mates and I are completely aware of our responsibility in this championship, which we consider the most important challenge in the current season.
“We also consider ourselves fortunate to be able to participate and are aware of the hopes of the nation. We welcome the opportunity to raise our beloved nation’s flag high in this world championship.
“We will go above and beyond to make it to the podium in order to give back to our beloved homeland and repay the generosity, even though a small fraction, of what our leaders and Sheikhs bestow upon us.
“UAEJJF’s aim has been to be number one since its establishment. Hence, we will intensify our efforts to keep that promise and present our nation with the gift of victory through this great event. We want to reach the podium so that the national anthem of our beloved country is heard by everyone.”
The national team has kept a busy international calendar this season with several international participations that began with the Asian edition of the World Beach tournament in Pattaya, Thailand, followed by the World Games in Poland at the end of the same month where Al Ketbi won the gold medal.
This was followed by the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, U15 World Cup in Montenegro, the team’s first participation in the Rio De Janeiro edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, which took place from November 10-12.
They will end this month with their current participation in the World Championship and finally the World Beach Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Cartagena, Colombia on November 30.
Hosted by Gravity Calisthenics Gym Dubai, in association with World Calisthenics Organization (WCO), the 26th edition of the world’s first calisthenics competition saw 16 international athletes battle it out on the bars at La Mer Jumeirah on November 17 and 18 to win cash prizes totaling to $7,850.
Spread over two days, the competition welcomed calisthenics pioneers, Brendan Cosso, President of WCO, Kenneth Gallarzo, Vice President of WCO, and world champion, Eryc Ortiz.
Day one included eight battles leading to the semi-finals, free public calisthenics classes at the bars, tutorials and an award ceremony to congratulate those advancing to final one-on-one battles. Athletes hailed from various countries including Russia, Malaysia, UK and Spain.
Amateur battles between calisthenics enthusiasts rewarded the winners with a complimentary 1-month membership at Gravity Gym, Dubai.
Day two, the main and final day, included a similar agenda to Day one and featured a special presentation by the top calisthenics athletes. The finale also saw two-time champion Eryc Ortiz fight to the finish to defend his title and win Battle Of The Bars 26.
“Battle Of The Bars is not just a competition, it’s a showcase of a lifestyle we want the UAE to understand and learn,” states Yousuf Al Gurg, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Gravity Calisthenics Gym. “Battle of the Bars will set the bar for what’s to come in the future with regards to the growth of the discipline and the importance of the community to calisthenics.”
The event was made possible through the support of event sponsors Pocari Sweat, Salt, Qafiya Arabia, Dimension Fitness and JA Resorts & Hotels. Media sponsors for the event were Spread Communications.
Three of the UAE’s top cycling names are gearing up to join road race legend and event ambassador, Mark Cavendish, for the inaugural Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic, taking place on Sunday December 3 2017.
Roberto Ferrari, Manuele Mori and Yousif Mirza (the UAE’s fastest cyclist) will make up some of the 200 riders who will compete in the 175km race, hosted by Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Inspired by the iconic races of Europe, the star-studded peloton will cycle from Abu Dhabi to the beautiful Garden City, Al Ain, in the Classic.
Marking a real first for the UAE, the event will celebrate the huge surge in popularity for the sport in the region while also firmly placing Abu Dhabi once more on the map for both professional and amateur cycling.
Speaking of his excitement before the event, Roberto Ferrari, commented: “I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi, that’s why I’m even more excited to have the opportunity of being there and enjoying the city. I raced three times in the UAE in my career and I always enjoyed the experience: the atmosphere is always great, and I noticed that the attention towards cycling is getting greater and greater.”
Manuele Mori, added, “I’m really looking forward to race in the inaugural edition of the ADAA Classic, this is an additional key moment in a cycling season which saw me and my team mates from the UAE Team Emirates setting important steps in the cycling history of the UAE. I was in Abu Dhabi early this year when we participated in the Abu Dhabi Tour and when the UAE Team Emirates revealed the partnership with new important sponsors: I immediately liked the city and the infrastructures, especially the ones linked to sports. Moreover, I love that UAE want to give value to cycling as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle, this makes me, as cyclist, very proud.”
Alongside the professional race, the Classic will also incorporate the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival, which will take place at the finish of the Classic in Al Ain, in the stunning surroundings of Al Jahili Park. The festival will work to promote health and fitness by providing families with the opportunity to cycle together on 800m circuits for free.
The Classic is strictly limited to 200 places by invitation only, but riders can register their interest online http://www.cyclealain.com/register-interest/.
The Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival is open to all and, in addition to the cycling circuit, there will be an event village with numerous other activities to enjoy. Individuals and families can register interest online.
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) November 5, 2017