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Jiu-jitsu stars excited to compete at Abu Dhabi World Pro C’ship

The International jiu-jitsu stars are excited to be returning to the mat and eager to put a challenging year behind them with strong performances at the 12th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWPJJC), the largest and most prestigious event on the global jiu-jitsu calendar, which returns to the UAE’s capital from April 6-9.

Joao Gabriel Sousa, winner of the gold medal in the 62-kg class at the 2019 edition, said that he was extremely happy about the decision of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), the organisers of the ADWPJJC, for ensuring that the 12th edition of the tournament would be held.

“The ADWPJJC is the biggest show in the season and one tournament that I simply do not miss. The quality of the athletes is excellent, the event is very well organised, and it is a tournament where you can really test yourself against the best in the world. I am really looking forward to competing in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

Sousa’s compatriot and 90-kg gold medallist at the 2019 iteration, Gabrieli Pessanha, said she was looking forward to another strong run at the 12th edition. “Winning the gold medal in 2019 was very special and I want to do it again at a tournament as prestigious as the ADWPJJC. This is the best championship to test yourself against the strongest fighters from all over the world and I lovely competing in Abu Dhabi,” said the 19-year-old, considered to be a fast-rising star in the world of jiu-jitsu and amongst the sport’s youngest black belt holders.

Another black belt who has already booked his ticket to Abu Dhabi is Poland’s Adam Wardzinski who won silver in the 94-kg weight class at the previous two editions and is now looking to go one better come April.

“It has been a very challenging year for all sportspersons and I am really happy that the UAEJJF have not stopped their efforts to organise this prestigious tournament. I have really happy memories of competing in Abu Dhabi. The ADWPJJC brings together the best of our sport’s talent and is the perfect place for a serious athlete to improve his game and also test himself against athletes he wouldn’t normally face,” says Wardzinski.

The upcoming edition of the ADWPJJC will be 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, and will offer a total prize fund of Dhs2.7 million.

Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice-president of the UAEJJF, said that the UAEJJF was looking forward to welcoming back the global jiu-jitsu community to the capital of the sport after a challenging year.

“Abu Dhabi has today become the unrivalled international home of jiu-jitsu and this standing brings with it a lot of responsibility.

“It is our commitment to ensure that the development of our beloved sport continues apace and with the direction of the UAE’s wise and visionary leadership, we are confident that the 12th edition of the ADWPJJC will be a tremendous success.

“We have received a very encouraging response from the global jiu-jitsu community. It is a matter of great pride that the ADWPJJC’s road to glory will commence on the day we begin to commemorate the 50th year of the founding of our country,” he said.

Championship organisers, the UAEJJF, have worked closely in partnership with local and federal health authorities to ensure a safe and secure environment for hundreds of men and women, masters, and juvenile/under-18, and under-21 athletes from around the world to compete for global glory. The ADWPJJC will be held in adherence to strict health and safety measures and behind closed doors. All participating athletes, officials, administrators, and staff will undergo regular PCR testing, will be required to adhere to social distancing, and the wearing of masks will be mandatory.

The 12th edition of the ADWPJJC begins on Tuesday, April 6, with athletes in the under-18 and under-21 taking to the mats, followed by the masters on April 7. The final two days are reserved for high-octane action in the professional category.

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