Thursday the 4th of May will be another historic day for Muaythai as it will feature the Opening of the 2017 World Championships in the beautiful city of Minsk and for the first time, the IFMA athletes will march in the arena as IOC recognised federations.
The Chair of of the IFMA Athletes Comission, Janice Lyn stated that, “…the athletes from all 5 continents are super excited. many of their federations, already recognised by the National Olympic Committees, but now, being officially part of the five rings, gives everyone a sense of pride and an Olympic feel.”
IFMA Sport Director, Charissa Tynan highlighted again the fact that this is the Final Qualifier for the 2017 World Games and that the elite athletes of the world will compete for the last eleven spots left. The IOC President will preside over the World Games opening which showcases the Games’ link to the Olympic Movement.
The Chairman of the Belarus Muaythai Federation General Yuriy Karaevgave and the Minister of Tourism and Sport Aleksandr Shamko gave a final report to the IFMA technical committee, who are already in Minsk and covering all ground. His Excellency said that Minsk is ready to welcome the world. The President of the Belorussian Muaythai Federation stated,
“May 4th will be a proud day for everyone in the Republic of Belarus, but especially the Muaythai world. Belorusian athletes for the last 20 years have come home with medals from IFMA world championships and this year, it will be an amazing experiment for the athletes to compete in their home country, which will fill them with pride – but also pressure!”
The IFMA President summed it up saying,
” Minsk again will showcase the foundation of Muaythai, of friendship, fairplay, respect, honour and striving toward excellence, and after 2011 in Uzbekistan, 2012 in Russia, 2014 in Malaysia, 2015 in Thailand, 2016 in Sweden, now Belarus will show case their culture and their hospitality to the muaythai world and the IFMA family is looking forward to meet all the family members in Belarus.”