By Sports Staff
ABU DHABI: The 9th successive Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will be returning to the Ipic Arena, Zayed Sports City from 10th to 23rd of April.
The event was officially launched yesterday by organisers, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. More than 7,000 competitors from over 100 countries will descend on Abu Dhabi to fight it out for world titles and cash prizes of up to Dh3 million.
Since 2013, the number of athletes competing in the championship has grown on average 32 per cent year-on-year with a overall growth of 596 per cent. Specifically, in the UAE we now have over 250 UAE players competing, which equates to annual growth of 44 per cent. Attendance has peaked to over 31,000 which is an average year-on-year growth of 44 per cent since 2013.
The competition will be broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channels across the region, as well as live-streamed online and the official UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation social media channels.
For the first time, the contest will hold a dedicated Para-Jiu-Jitsu event and competition for players with disabilities and special needs. This comes as part of a the UAEJJF’s social responsibility pledge in the 2017 ‘Year of Giving’, which also includes partnerships with initiatives such as the national health initiative ‘Jasadak Amana’ (Your body is your responsibility) and the UAE Food Bank.
Kicking off the world event is the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival with extended dates from 10th to 15th April. The festival is an opportunity for members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and loyalty card-holders under the age of 18, plus white belts and members of the military, to compete in a world professional environment against their peers.
Following the Festival, The Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship takes place on 16th and 17th April. This is where the next generation of professional players will once again compete in the state-of-the-art arena for two days of inspirational competition with the chance to add points to their 2016-2017 season.
The elite Jiu-Jitsu contest will take place from 18th to 22nd April and will see the UAE’s ‘national treasures’ go head-to-head with a record-number of international participants from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom and the USA. Over 360 medals are up for grabs.
As part of the action, fans will experience the ultimate clash of Jiu-Jitsu talent at the highest level with the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends competition on Saturday 22nd April. The Jiu-Jitsu Legends competition will see ten world-renowned contenders, both current and retired, fight it out for four gold medals. The closing day of the championship (Sunday 23rd April) will host a red-carpet awards ceremony to honor winners as well as sponsors and participating parties who have contributed to the success of the championship. Winners will be selected according to new international rankings, developed by the Federation during 2016/2017 season and based on the performance of the players in the final round of the tournament.
For those not competing, the event will see the return of the Ipic Fan Zone, a fun-filled family festival atmosphere not to be missed. The IPIC Fan Zone includes sponsor activities, family events and interactive stands, making it the perfect family day-out. The annual raffle returns, giving the public a chance to win exciting prizes including two brand new cars from Premier Motors that include a Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport. Wam.