The Open Asia Championship President’s Cup recently held on the beautiful island of Kish in Iran can only be described as a resounding success with a total of 28 countries participating. The event was organised and hosted by the Iranian Muaythai Association and with the full support and assistance of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran had. The event was hosted by the Iranian Muaythai Association under the umbrella of the Federation of Amateur Muaythai Asia and IFMA.
The event was opened by His Excellency Mr. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, High Advisor and Secretary to the President of Iran, and Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan, the President of IFMA and President of the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand.
The athletes stayed in luxurious hotels and attended special programs were organised to promote aspects such as the cultural depth of Muaythai. This ensured they were at their best and able to provide fights which attained the highest standards we have come to expect and the audience was treated in seeing the best of Asian Muaythai.
The Iranian team with the benefit of the massive support that comes as being the home favourite fought beyond their expectations managing to take the overall team trophy. Thailand came second in this with the Kazakhstan team taking third place. The title of Top Fighter was awarded to Eisa Almadar from Iran and the award for the best Wai Kru went to Narawut Pleenamram of Thailand.
Asia has truly become a powerhouse of Muaythai with Jordan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, India, UAE, Iraq and Korea all providing strong teams to the Championship and coming away with medals for their superb efforts. Deserving of a special mention is the team representing the UAE who, against common expectations won their first gold medal in a masterful display.
The Closing Ceremony was colourful with the VIP section filled with many dignitaries, celebrities and other luminaries. The goodbye party was a feast of traditional delicacies and Iranian culture that provided a platform which cemented the strong friendships that were made over the course of these spectacular championships.
A special mention of appreciation must be extended to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Muaythai Association and the President of the Association, Mr. Javad Nasiri Mastanabad.