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250 competitors set for Jiu-Jitsu championship.

Abu Dhabi: Around 250 competitors from 32 countries will be vying for a slice of the $110,000 (Dh404,057) on offer in the inaugural World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup to be held at the Zayed Sports City Tennis Complex starting today.

The two-day event is being organised by the Armed Forces Officers Club under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and UAE Wrestling, Judo and Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEWJJJ) are also playing a leading role in this first competition for professionals.

Brazilians Marcelo Garcia, Brauilo, Estima, Rubens Charles and Robson Moura are some of the big names who are among the line-up.

Retired Lieutenant-General Mohammad Hilal Al Kaabi, AFOC board chairman and head of the Higher Organising Committee, said those taking part here in the two-day event had been through the qualifiers held in Brazil, the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Kaabi said preparations for the championship had been completed and that the two-day tournament would be conducted today and tomorrow starting at 6pm.

Mohammad Bin Thaloob, president of the UAEWJJJ and event-organiser, and three-time world champion Carlos Santos also addressed the press briefing to announce the event.

Thaloob said: "There is no doubt that the first World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship is a great sporting event in the region, thanks to the great efforts of our international coach, Carlos Santos, whose contributions to spreading of the sport in the region cannot be overemphasised."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 1, 2009
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