Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s under-15 jiu-jitsu national team are taking part in the Balkan Open Championship for the first time this weekend.
An 18-member squad has travelled to the Kition Athletic Centre Larnaca in Cyprus to compete in the three-day tournament with Yousuf Al Blooshi the team leader.
The tournament features jiu-jitsu performers from all over the world taking part in three age categories (U-12, U-18 and U-21) and varying weight categories.
The UAE delegation will participate in the under-15 categories, with two or three players in every weight category.
At the end of the tournament, trophies will be awarded to the top-three national teams, along with medals for the top-three players in each category.
Special trophies will also be presented during the closing ceremony at the discretion of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Commenting on the U-15 national team’s participation, Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “Participating in global jiu-jitsu championships such as the Balkan Open offers our talented players an opportunity to showcase their skills in a competitive arena and also learn from their peers representing other countries. We are confident that our national team will demonstrate their high skill level and supreme professionalism and will make their country proud yet again.
“On behalf of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, I would like to wish them the very best of luck for the tournament.”
The U-15 UAE national team consists of:
• Omar Al Suwaidi [-34kg category]
• Suhail Al Nuaimi [-34kg category]
•Hamdan Al Nuaimi [-37kg category]
• Abdul Rahman Haidara [-41kg category]
• Khalid Mohammad Al Shehhi [-41kg category]
• Matar Salem Al Dhaheri [-45kg category]
• Mohammad Khalid Al Kaabi [-45kg category]
• Abdul Rahman Al Blooshi [-50kg category]
• Mohammad Alassri Al Mansoori [-50kg category]
• Abdulla Ahmad Al Dhaheri [-55kg category]
• Ali Fawaz Abdul Hamid [-55kg category]
• Saif Jasem Al Mansoori [-55kg category]
• Hazaa Saeed Al Khadouri [-60kg category]
• Mohammad Ali Al Kaabi [-60kg category]
• Sultan Khamis Al Ameri [-66kg category]
• Salem Mubarak Zayed [+66kg category]
• Obaid Salem Al Shamsi [+66kg category]
• Mohammad Jasem Al Mansoori [+66kg category]
Broadcast live on the Abu Dhabi Sports television channel, organisers say the tournament is an event that highlights the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s growing profile as the facilitator for international sport and Abu Dhabi’s position as the world capital for the martial art.