ABU DHABI - The 27th edition of the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship kicked off today at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City, where the UAE national team, sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, seized the lead in the medal table with nine medals, including 2 gold, 2 and 5 bronze, in the Under-16 division.

H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurated the event earlier today, and crowned the winners, and was accompanied by Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union, and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), and Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF).

The UAE national team, affectionately referred to as the Jiu-Jitsu Falcons, produced an outstanding performance on the mats and demonstrated they were determined to defend the World Champions title secured last year.

In his remarks, Theodoropoulos praised the UAE for playing a trailblazing role in hosting major jiu-jitsu championships and for its steadfast commitment to the growth of jiu-jitsu globally.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice-Chairman of the UAEJJF, said "Support from the wise leadership is the best assurance that the championships hosted by the UAE will be a resounding success, that their objectives will be met, and that Abu Dhabi’s reputation as the global capital of jiu-jitsu in the world will only grow."

Theodoropoulos added, “The tournament's current iteration continues to record impressive figures in terms of players and participating countries. It demonstrates the UAE capital's exceptional capacity to stage the biggest international jiu-jitsu competitions to the highest standards. Being a prominent hub for jiu-jitsu and making decisions that are in the interest of the sport, the UAE has played and continues to play a significant part in the game's development.”

Abdulla Al Darmaki, who won silver in the +73kg division, kicked off the UAE’s medal haul on Day One. “I am thrilled to have taken home the silver medal in the World Championship’s opening day. Moments like these, when you represent the UAE at an international competition and grab a medal, are ones you'll cherish for a lifetime," he said.

Leading the charge for the hosts was Ahmed Al Shamsi, who secured the UAE’s first gold medal by defeating Kazakhstan’s Umarov Islam in the -42kg category.

The competitions on Saturday also saw the UAE’s Ammar Al Hammadi securing gold in the Under 50kg weight division while Mansoor Al Blooshi scooped in silver in Under 38 kg category. Meanwhile, Manea Abdulrahman (+73 kg), Eysa Alblooshi (-38 kg), Obaid Alketbi (-46 kg), Mohamed Alsada (-55 kg) and Andeez Ahmed (-66 kg) won bronze medals, making the UAE side look strong on the inaugural day.