The first day of the competition was as full of emotions as the beginning of the World Championships can be with many achievements, disappointments, victories and losses which is what the sport is about.
The referees, judges, technical officials, athletes, and last but not least spectators finally could get to the most exciting part of the event – muaythai matches which will give the world the new names among the muaythai elite, and for the 2017 World Games athletes who will qualify for the Games.
The first bout attracted immense interest and the host of the championships Sandra Godvik stepped in the ring accompanied by a round of applause from the local public. Sandra competed against another Scandinavian from Finland Tessa Kakkonen. In a close match full of grace only female muaythai can boast of, it was Tessa who disappointed the local audience by beating Sandra and moving into the following round of the championships in a 48 kg weight division.
The next bout showed the rival for Tessa, as Thai Rattanaphon Sanphan coming all the way from the motherland of the sport met another Asian from the Philippines Arlyn Ranes. Rattanaphon has shown again the depth of muaythai as a culture demonstrating a true performance of the Wai Kru dance and the match itself was full of advanced techniques. Although Arlin showed a strong character and will to win, it was a Thai champion who will meet Tessa Kakkonen from Finland in the next round.
One of the most anticipated matches took place between Jacqueline De Beer from South Africa and Nili Block from Israel in the 60 kg weight division which is a qualifier for the World Games in Poland in 2017. Nili has only been a step away from qualifying at the Royal World Cup 2015 when she competed against Valentina Shevchenko where Valentina won the long cherished spot. This time Nili was full of determination and from the beginning of the match she demonstrated that she will use her full potential to achieve her dream to get to Wroclaw as a part of the IWGA World Games. For South Africa it has been a true test and the audience gave Jacqueline strong support after Nili raised her hand as a sign of respect and friendship.
Giang Hoang, another Swedish athlete stepped in the ring in the male division to compete against Phillip Delarmino from the Philippines. Giang gave the public a stunning performance proving to everyone that Swedish muaythai is one of the strongest in Europe and the world, but the Philippine athlete had his own plan for the result of the match and again made Sweden wait for their first victory at the World Championships winning the match.
A superstar of the muaythai world Andrei Kulebin entered the ring in his new weight division 71 kg against the Iranian challenger Seyes Soleymani. Andrei was almost there at the Royal World Cup to win the gold medal but it was Comte Vewart who got in the way of him and made Andrei train even harder to prepare for Sweden. It was an exciting match this time and Seyes showed the level of Iranian muaythai. It was Andrei who moved forward towards the 71 kg spot at the World Games 2017.
In the 60 kg weight division, Pavel Valteran from Russia competed against Salah Elkas from France. Again Russia was full of determination to take the lead in the team classification and Pavel was stronger in this match.
In another 71 kg division match Kazakh Rustam Akzhanov competed against Teemu Sellevaara from Finland. The Finnish fighter was stronger and joined Tessa Kakkonen in the Finnish stride towards the gold.
Today’s matches will be of the same calibre and we encourage you to attend the Kinnarps Arena or watch the Championships at the live broadcast.