St. Petersburg was announced as the host city of the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games during the 2011 SportAccord Convention held in April in London. SportAccord President Hein Verbruggen and Mikhail Ossievski, First Deputy Governor of St. Petersburg, exchanged the Host City contract during the SportAccord General Assembly on the 8th April 2011 at the annual Convention.
After the resounding success of the inaugural 2010 World Combat games in Beijing St. Petersburg had a challenge on its hands to attain the same high levels which it successfully acceded. Nearly 1,400 exceptional male and female athletes from 62 different countries competed in this showcase of exceptional talent. A total of 473 medals were distributed, with host country Russia leading the total medal count by a wide margin, followed by France, Japan and the Ukraine. Each of the participating sports appointed an ambassador who was a well-known and accomplished individual representing their sport in the rich and diversified social programme of the Games.
Muaythai Ambassador for the event was Somrak Khamsing who needs no introduction to the fighting world: renowned Muaythai practitioner; Olympic gold medalist; movie star; and TV presenter.
He began his Muaythai training at the age of 7, and throughout his fighting career has won multiple Muaythai championships. He is now rightfully regarded as one of the greatest Muaythai fighters of all time.
Somrak was the first Thai National to win a gold medal during 1996 Summer Olympic Games, where he competed as an amateur boxer in the Featherweight category. He further represented Thailand in 1998 in the Asian Games, and in 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
Opening ceremony of the 2013 Sport Accord World Combat Games
The opening ceremony of the greatest event of this autumn took place in the Ice Palace, which welcomed thousands of spectators. Each combat sport – muaythai, aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, ju-jitsu, karate, kendo, kickboxing, sambo, savate, sumo, taekwondo, wrestling, wushu – represented themselves with the great shows to give the fans a small taste of what was still to come in the days ahead.
Muaythai showed a great performance, with an excellent wai kru ritual, and spectacular fight. The demonstration attracted the keen attention of all the spectators and press representatives in the arena.
To relax, the combat atmosphere of the event the ballet dancers and singers danced and sang a popular folk Russian song to the accompaniment of a new rock interpretation.
Among official guests were the representatives of the Russian Federation Government.
The President of the Russian Federation, an avid supporter of sport welcomed all the guests of the event in his video message and wished good luck and fair play to all the athletes from 108 countries.
Other activities included hospital and school visits with youth, where they shared inspiring stories about how sport shaped their lives. Live broadcast of the Games on 18 channels in Latin America, Canada, USA, China, Russia, Malaysia, Romania and the Pan-Middle East as well as online broadcasting in over 120 countries reached viewers across the globe.
A great honour was given to the President of the Russian Muaythai Federation and IFMA Executive Board Member, Dmity Putilin, for his appointment by the Russian Union of Martial Arts (RUMA) to the position of Sporting Department Director for the 2013 World Combat Games.
Mr. Putilin was the key man behind the success of the 2012 IFMA World Championships in Saint Petersburg, and undoubtedly gave his all to ensure the success of the 2013 World Combat Games.
World Combat Games under the patronage of IOC
- 15 Martial Arts and Combat Sports
- Internationally-elite competitions with 1300 of the world’s best athletes
- World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code compliant doping controls
- IF run and regulated competition equipment standards
- Timing, scoring and results technical services provided by Swatch Group
- Socio-cultural and educational programmes
- Doping-free sport and sports’ integrity awareness education
- Sustainability initiatives and reporting
- Festival-style sports presentation and entertainment
- Ambassador programme