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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation send 27-member squad to Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

The mixed squad of men and women are represented by four leading clubs

Women champions crowned at the inaugural UAE Female Jiu-Jitsu Championship on March 11, 2017.
Women champions crowned at the inaugural UAE Female Jiu-Jitsu Championship on March 11, 2017.

With the elite Emirati jiu-jitsu fighters busy preparing for the World Games in Poland later this month, the UAE take a 27-strong squad to compete in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo.

The mixed squad of men and women are represented by four leading clubs. Al Ain have sent 10 followed by Al Jazira (9), Baniyas (5) and Al Wahda (3) for the first of the five Abu Dhabi World Tour events at the Makuhari Messe Convention Centre.

“This is a new development with the clubs getting involved for the first time in an overseas competition,” said Yousef Batran, a board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

“It is a good move, too, the clubs providing their players with the opportunity to compete in a top flight international competition. Obviously this will be the new trend from now on.

“Another interesting fact is that the clubs have combined to send one of the biggest squads for a Grand Slam event.”

Zayed Al Kaabi, who returned with a gold medal for the UAE in last week’s Asian edition of the World Beach tournament in Pattaya, Thailand, leads the Emirati contingent.

The Al Ain squad include national team members Hamdan Al Blooshi, Obaid Salem, Humaid Al Kaabi and Wadima Al Yafei, the first Emirati female to win a bronze medal at the Asian Beach Games.

The Grand Slam Tokyo will also feature the first super match of the Legends Series in the heavyweight division, between Brazilians Alexandre Dantas and Ricco Rodriguez.

The winner will keep his hopes alive of a meeting with Marcio Cruz for the heavyweight belt at the 2018 Abu Dhabi World Professional Championship in April.