Gabriel (Far Right on the Podium)
Young athlete Gabriel Areas stepped out onto mats at the world renounced Tijuca Tennis Clube over the weekend to compete in Brazil’s most prestigious no-gi tournament the Brasileiros sem-kimono (NoGi).
He had five hard-fought matches between his weight division and the absolute, taking the bronze in the former and the silver in the latter.
In the first match in his weight division, he showed why he had earned the nickname Godzilla – racking up a seven-point lead before taking his opponents back and finishing with a rear naked choke.
His semi-final match saw him four points ahead having taken the back of a very tough opponent, with twenty seconds remaining, out of nowhere his opponent scrambled back to guard and threw up a triangle, Gabriel was forced to concede.
However, the sting of this loss was quickly avenged. Returning in the afternoon for the absolute division, the first round saw the pair matched up again. In a back and forth battle, Gabriel fought his way to his opponent’s back, this time there would be no mistake and he was able to finish with a rear naked choke.
A semi-final clash that was more of a wrestling match than a jiu-jitsu contest. Whilst most jiu-jitsu matches that don’t reach the ground tend to be dull affairs, this was anything but. Both competitors were ferocious in their takedown attempts – there were big double legs, single legs and hip throws – each time the respective athlete was able to scramble back to their feet or they ended up out of bounds. Equal on advantages the match could have gone either way – but Gabriel was given the nod by the referee.
The final saw him matched with a very good guard player. Although the contest itself was somewhat of a frustrating affair, as they became entangled in 50/50 very early on and traded sweep points back and forth, with Gabriel, unfortunately, losing out 8-6.
All-in-all this was an excellent day for young Godzilla, he had demonstrated the versatility of his game, between passing, guard work, wrestling and an ability to finish tough opponents. When asked how he felt about his performance, he explained:
“I am happy, but I am ready for gold next time”
Used to be held