Opening day for IFMA athletes at the SEA Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur was an exciting set of bouts with athletes from all six countries involved.
The pressure was on home nation Malaysia naturally, with a capacity crowd as there has been at all events in this popular tournament. Team captain and The World Games athlete Mohd Ali Bin Yaakub defeated Mad Lani from Indonesia in a bout which brought loud cheers from the crowd for this well-known athlete. Team-mate Ain Bin Kamarrudin, also a selction for The World Games last month, won over Le De Jun Singapore.
Sueaphom Thongbang from Laos won against The Philippines champion Marque Khen Johnson in a close bout.
The Philipppines were unlucky again when star athlete Philip Delarmino who fought recently at The World Games at 57kg lost out in a tough fight against Thailand’s Thachtana Luangphom. But tomorrow is another day for this strong team.
Cambodia were also in action taking two wins for Lao Chetra and Vann Voeurn. VIetnamese athlete and IFMA champion Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat won against his Laoatian opponent Sengsouly at 57kg.
IFMA president Dr Sakcyhe Tapsuwan and IFMA general secretary Stephan Fox were in attendence to show support for the return of our sport to the SEA Games stage. And head of the Malaysian muaythai federation Dato Shahnaz Azmi said he was thrilled to see so many great bouts as a result of the federation’s hard work in joining with the SEA Games.