The final day of fights was a fitting end to a week of intense competition with so many close results bringing the crowd surging to their feet!
The closing ceremony was held in conjunction with the City of Bangkok, the Ministry for Tourism and Sport, the Department of Physical Education and the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand along with the world governing body of Amateur Muaythai IFMA.
Fights started at 11am in both rings with athletes of all ages, boys and girls battling for the world champion title! Some countries which started out with large teams had many finalists including Turkey, Russia, Australia and Thailand. But also smaller teams fought their way to the finals including Estonia, Mexico, Lithuania, and Canada.
It’s exciting to see that it’s not always about travelling in large numbers but comes down to the skill and talent of each athlete.
As always it’s almost impossible to highlight any fight over another – the bout between Thailand and Uzbekistan in 14 – 15 boys was incredibly exciting, also in the same division Canada vs Thailand at a differnet weight category was a royal battle! And in the girls division for 14 to 15 Australia took on Kazakhstan in another great fight, two very different styles but great heart from both girls!
Medals were presented during the day, with a parade for each group of athletes. And after the final bous, all of the national banners were marched into the centre of the stadium by beautiful girls in traditional dress
Speakers from the Thai government hailed the event as a huge success, stressing this covered the cultural as well as sporting events. They praised initiatives like the school visits, and congratuatlions for the historical signing of a plan to partner with UNESCO.
And naturally they called on any athletes which didn’t claim a medal this week, to continue training and prepare already for next year!
IFMA President Dr Sakchye thanked all the young athletes for showing us and teaching us about respect, fair play and unity – this event should be an example for many, as to how cultural understanding is possible
The President stated the future of Muaythai is in safe gloves!
And even as the athletes got ready to fly home, some of the IFMA team were starting work on the next amateur event to take place during the Asian Beach games in Vietnam this month. One world One Muaythai!