The 2012 IFMA World Championships final day, which were televised six hours live in Russia on different channels, was an event of great skill and sportsmanship, magnified by an electrifying atmosphere. People turned up in crowds, as the home country showed its supports for the Russian athletes in the finals.
Thailand, having lost two of its superstars in the semi-finals, restored the pride of the kingdom by winning 6 gold medals in the elite Male division. The Russian team didn’t let their fans down and won four gold medals.
The “Overall Team Winner” trophy, which is determined by combining the medals of both male and female divisions, went to Russia, filling the Russian Federation with pride. Thailand won “Best Male Team”, while Sweden won “Best Female Team.”
The trophy for “Best Boxer of the Event” went to Andrei Kulebin from Belarus, for his definitive style.
Artem “Lion” Levin had a great match, winning gold. Marc de Bonte gave the Russian lion, 4 x IFMA World Champion, a tough fight, showing that Belgium is definitely up there.
Russia’s Artem Vaikhitov won gold, and looked very sharp in his fight against Sweden’s Sy Sadibou.
Andrei Kulebin displayed the entire Muaythai arsenal, beating the German fighter Juri Kehl.
The final fight of the night was a showstopper, Heavyweight division, Dzianis Hancharonak (Belarus) vs. Yusuf Ibqagimov (Uzbekistan). The crowd was on their feet for most of it, and their cheers and stomps were deafening, as the two titanic athletes clashed and clashed again. In the end, Hancharonak was victorious, but both fighters received a standing ovation for a great fight which showed the heart of Muaythai.
More pictures and full results table soon!