IFMA awards gold, silver and bronze medals in the ring but there is more to muaythai than just winning your bout. Some of our athletes also stand out for their career dedication or their skills in the traditional side of our sport.
These athletes were also honoured on the closing day of the IFMA World Championships in Minsk.
The Best Boxer Female title went to Patricia Axling from Sweden, gold medal winner at 57kgs! Patricia is a great role-model for women in sport – one of the most technical athletes in our rings this year. Sweden is well-known for its promotion of women’s sport, and Patricia’s skills are a testament to the country’s commitment.
The Best Boxer Male title went to Artem Avanesov from Belarus, gold medal winner at 63.5kgs! Artem is also an outstanding athlete, this division is one of the most keenly contested in muaythai with one of the largest pools of athletes to get past before reaching that gold. Artem’s skilful use of all eight muaythai weapons however took him past the competition.
Muaythai is a martial art and combat sport which fosters and promotes ancient traditions with a Wai Kru ritual dance performed before each bout by every athlete. The best Wai Kru went to Thailand’s Apsara Kosorn for consistently elegant and beautiful performances even before the tense final bout when she claimed gold at 51kgs.
The Best Prospect male went to Iraj Arallou Azizpour who claimed the 91+kgs silver medal for Iran. Iraj brought a unique skill-set to the ring, using great footwork to overcome a height disadvantage against many of his opponents. He can hold his head high with pride.
The Best Prospect Female was given to Svetlana Vannikova from Russia, who won gold at 63.5kgs. Her route to the finals was not easy, including a bout against defending world champion Antoninia Shevchenko, Peru. A great role model for younger women entering into the sport, we’re sure to see her in the IFMA colours again.
The Best Team award went to Team Belarus – a decision based on the points accumulated with medals from male elite and female divisions. This home crowd roared their approval with many surging to their feet at this announcement.
Congratulations to all the individual athletes and the Belarus team competing at the Minsk Sports Palance, a proud day for the country and for muaythai in general.