ABU DHABI 31 August 2020: A string of consistent displays and victories at crucial moments over three rounds resulted in Al Wahda Jiu-Jitsu Club claiming the overall Mother of the Nation Championship title following the final round at Abu Dhabi’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena.
Al Wahda amassed a total of 1,990 points to take top spot ahead of Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club (1,650 points) and Al Dhafra Jiu-Jitsu Club (1,120 points). Al Wahda’s fighters won 35 gold medals, 27 silver medals, and 29 bronze medals over the course of the championship.
The third and final round of the Mother of the Nation Championship, conducted in strict adherence to local and federal health and safety protocols, closed out the UAEJJF’s 2019-2020 domestic season with more than 180 athletes from nine prominent jiu-jitsu club’s from across the UAE competing on the mats at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena.
Challenging few months
“It has been a challenging few months, but thanks to the continued support of our committed leadership, and the dedication of the entire jiu-jitsu community, we have been able to return to competition, complete the Mother of the Nation Championship and bring the curtain down on the 2019-2020, which despite the enforced break and the associated hurdles, has been a season of success and development for so many of our athletes,” said His Excellency Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF.
“It was great to see so many of our female athletes in action in the final round of the Mother of the Nation Championship, competing with great spirit and at a high technical level. The future is very promising for women’s jiu-jitsu in the UAE. On behalf of the UAEJJF I would like to thank all the clubs, officials, coaches, players and their families who have shown great determination to return to the mats and continuing to progress the sport of jiu-jitsu,” Al Dhaheri added.
Leading Al Wahda’s charge in the final round of the prestigious tournament were Fatema Al Muhairi, who got the better of Al Ain’s Shaikha Al Shkeili in the 70kg blue belt division, and Reem Al Obaidli, who was victorious against Athari Al Shamsi (Al Ain) in the 62kg blue belt division. The club’s under-21 fighters also played their part; Sabah Al Rasbi earning an important win in the 82kg blue belt category, while Shamma Al Nofeli won by an emphatic margin of 10-2 against Reham Al Naimia in the 70kg blue belt match.
Al Ain Jiu-Jitsu Club’s Wadima Al Yafei downed Shouq Al Dhanihani of Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club in the 49kg purple belt division gold medal match, and while her club had to settle for second place, Al Yafei was thankful to be back in action.
“We have been away from top-level competitions for quite a while now and I was really desperate to get back on to the mat. I am thankful to the UAEJJF for organising this tournament, and the pre-tournament camp that helped us get back into the groove. This preparation will be very helpful as we prepare for international tournaments that are coming up,” she said.
It was a view echoed by Baniyas Club’s Balqees Abdulla, who was in a class of her own in the under-21 44kg blue belt division, winning all four bouts by submission on her way to the gold medal. Abdulla credited the work of the UAEJJF in hosting training camps in safe and secure environments. She said: “The two-week training camp was great for the athletes as we got the chance to train under prominent coaches, work on our fitness levels and get back into a competitive mindset. Doing well at this prestigious championship is a confidence boost and I am hoping to keep this run going at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in November.”