First seven final bouts were on the list today with the best athletes in the divisions preparing for the final battle. For some it was more than a medal on the stake but also a spot in the World Games 2021 in Birmingham, USA. Mens’ 57 kg, 63.5 kg, 91 kg and Womens’ 57 kg and 63.5 kg are contested in Darwin and today first spots were taken by the winners of the Games.
57 kg Mens’ spot at the World Games was contested between Almaz Sarsembekov (KAZ) and Vladislav Mykytas (UKR) who showed an amazing bout. Both fighters were going toe to toe with judges giving advantage to Almaz in the first round. It was an arch-difficult task for them to evaluate the second and third round, and no clear runner up could be announced for this bout. Draw was declared in the bout and gold medal went to the both athletes. Almaz and Vladislav will now have to decide who is the strongest in their category at the World Championships in Bangkok.
57 kg Women’s division brought a yet unseen crowd to the stadium who came to support the home town athlete Rebecca Rooney. The Darwin audience gave her a tremendous support filling the stands, seats and ails of the Darwin Convention Center. Rebecca faced the French Anaelle Angerville. It was clearly seen that the gold medal in Darwin and the qualification for the World Games 2021 was an ultimate goal for Annaelle as she went forward with full power using all her arsenal of punches and kicks and Rebecca needed to show her defense skills as never before. Rebecca evened out the second and the third round countering attacks of her French opponent but it was Anaelle’s night as she won the gold and can start packing for Birmingham.
The lightest Mens’ division of 54 kg was contested between Ariel Lee Lampacan (PHI) and Sakchai Chamchit It was a matter of revenge for his team mates as team Thailand most of their athletes along the competition having only three making the final bouts. The first gold medal went to team Thailand after a very technical bout from both competitors and speed you can only see in the light divisions. Sakchye became the only male winner of the Games with two female athletes having their final him tomorrow.
Ilyass Hbibali (UAE) and Vernon Jun Long Tan (SGP) clashed in the final bout in a very close fight. Singaporean athlete was full of determination proving himself in his first IFMA event, and he had a good start winning the first round. It was second and third that Ilyass got control over the center of the ring and didn’t leave an opportunity to Vernon to develop his advantage. Ilyas won the gold still giving respect to the Singaporean athlete and thanked him for the great final.
The Mens’ final of the day was scheduled to be the last bout with Ukrainian Igor Liubchenko taking exam from the Elite division newcomer Lorenzo Sammartino (FRA). There was a clear difference in experience between two athletes but equal heart in the fight with Lorenzo trying to find the holes in Igor’s defense.
Igor would leave nothing for chance in this bout. Having found the weak spots in the defence of the Lorenzo Igor finished his third bout ahead of time spending a total of three rounds to win three bouts. In a conversation with IFMA Media Igor said that Lorenzo was a good opponent and he has potential to win many bouts in future.
Tomorrow is the last day for muaythai at the Arafura Games 2019 and amazing bout list for spectators to enjoy and support their local heroes. Yolanda Schmidt, Chad Pinkney, Damon Nelson, Billy Coulter, Lloyd Dean and Zoe Putorak will compete against the international athletes who made all the way to Australia to show that there are no borders in sport and distances do not matter when it comes to such great events as Arafura Games.