Today saw over 100 exciting bouts take place across four rings for the first day of the Youth World Championships in Bangkok. The National Stadium was packed with seats at a premium as supportors and fans vied for a glimpse of the rings and the future stars of the muaythai world.
Larger teams including Thailand, Russia and Australia naturally dominated the winners’ lists but among them were wins for Afghanistan (Mashal Islamzai 16 – 17 years), Hungary ( Laszlo Szebaszti 16 – 17years), and seven wins for Moldova out of ten bouts.
The Philippines took six wins from six bouts – including a shock win over youth world champion from Peru Alexander Chavez by Kristian Narca – finishing the day on a high with a lot in store tomorrow.
Australia had mixed fortunes with 21 athletes in action, taking eight wins to go forward to the next round. Among them last year’s gold medal winner Sophie Curtain, her sister Emily competes later in the week.
Six of the 70-strong Russian team were in action, taking five solid wins across boys and girls divisions.
Thailand also had a good day taking 10 wins from 11 bouts including a cracker in the 63.5kg 16 – 17 division going down to the final points at 29:28 between Kittitat Chaipul against Hungary’s Patrik Szána
As always in Thailand, there was a large home crowd cheering for the host team which gives an extra bite to proceedings. The larger teams especially Turkey, Russia and Australia have come equipped with chants, whistles and other musical instruments so when you added in four live orchestras playing the muaythai music all day, the arena was buzzing with atmosphere and expectation.
Kazakshtan took 11 wins from 15 bouts, with two in the 14 – 15 year division going down to the wire and the winners going through on 29:28 points against Malaysia and Turkey.
Teams from Colombia, Sri Lanka and Ireland made their first appearance at the Youth Championships, facing mixed fortunes.
Tomorrow’s bout schedule can be viewed on IFMA Live , and get live results on the same website from 15:00 (GMT + 7).