International masters dazzle huge crowd in Abu Dhabi - GulfToday

International masters dazzle huge crowd in Abu Dhabi


Participants in action at the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship on Tuesday.

In one of the most dramatic and hotly-contested competitions in recent history, jiu-jitsu masters from Brazil dominated Tuesday’s Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship (ADWMJJC) at Mubadala Arena.

The exciting preview to the three-day Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2019 (ADWPJJC) — which is 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 — saw master black, brown, purple and blue belts aged 30 years and above contest more than 700 matches in numerous weight categories.

The world of jiu-jitsu unites on the Abu Dhabi mats With cash prizes of $63,000 available to ‘Masters 1’ division winners in various weight categories, athletes representing 72 countries and 207 clubs competed in 110 divisions.

Brazil, the famous jiu-jitsu heartland, was the most represented nation with 180 athletes, while Russia had 61 and the UAE had 56 athletes in action.

Kazakhstan, Colombia, France and the UK all offered more than 20 masters each. Twenty-two countries from five continents contributed between five and 15 athletes each, including Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Spain, Angola and South Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Italy, Bahrain and Mongolia.

Individual winners reflect on dreams coming true With hundreds of world-class jiu-jitsu practitioners on display, the watching crowd went wild during the finals of seven powerhouse ‘Masters 1’ black belt categories.

Gold medallists in ‘Masters 1’ included: Male, Black belt – 56kg: Juan Lopes Da Silva (Portugal), Prime Team Male, Black belt – 62kg: Jose Barros (Brazil), Pslpb Cicero Costha Team Male, Black belt – 69kg: Thiago Marques (Brazil), Commando Group Male, Black belt – 77kg: Sergio Rios (Brazil), Brasa/99 Team Male, Black belt – 85kg: Marcos Tinoco (Brazil), Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Male, Black belt – 94kg: Renato Cardozo (Brazil), Commando Group Team Male, Black belt – 110kg: Igor Silva (Brazil), Commando Group Female, Brown / Black belt – 49kg: Anna Carolina Ardisson (Brazil), Palms Sports JJ Team Female, Brown / Black belt – 55kg: Tamara Rocha (Brazil), Palms Sports JJ Team Female, Brown / Black belt – 62kg: Eloisa Crespo Perez (Spain), Palms Sports JJ Team: Female, Brown / Black belt – 70kg: Polyana Lago (Brazil), Palms Sports JJ Team Competing in the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship for the first time, 2018 world jiu-jitsu champion Igor Silva, said: “I’ve completed my goal by topping the ranking after going the whole season in the Masters to avoid my brother in the World Pros, we don’t contest each other.

“I love to compete in Abu Dhabi and it’s a great feeling being in this arena – my mission is complete.”

After losing the 69kg final to Marques, the UAE’s Talib Saleh, who announced he was retiring before the final, said: “It’s not the best way to go out but reaching the finals was still an achievement.

“This is the fourth time I have won silver. I want to thank all the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, my coaches and teammates.”

Following her triumph in the 70kg female category, Polyana Lago, a UAE resident for the past eight years, said: “This division is full of tough girls, so I wasn’t aiming for gold.

“I wanted to play the game I wanted, feel comfortable and see. Everything I planned on doing happened and I’m really happy – this is my dream, a first gold medal in a world competition.”

Black belt para-athlete defies the odds to clinch Master 3 – 69kg gold Away from the ‘Masters 1’ divisions, one of the most memorable performances of the entire ADWPJJC week belonged to UK para-athlete Raphael Dos Santos of the AFNT team.

 The Brazilian black belt, an amputee, won the ‘Masters 3’ 69kg division against able-bodied opponent, Mario Silva, from Brazil.

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