The largest PanAmerican muaythai championships is taking place this week in Mexico City, with athletes from fourteen countries participating.
For the first time Columbia has sent a full team of male and female athletes, with large teams also present from the USA, Canada, Peru , Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, Chile, and Costa Rica. And naturally host nation Mexico has a full team ready for action, determined to bring home gold medals in front of their home crowd.
Supported by the National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE), the Federación Mexicana de Muaythai, under President Elisa Salinas yesterday welcomed the athletes and their national flags to the tournament.
Ms Salinas, also head of the Confederation PanAmerican Muaythai, called on the athlete to remember their Oath and committment to fair play and honour in the ring. Also outside the ring, she encouraged them to make new friends and develop their love of muaythai by learning from each other, and naturally by respecting the IFMA committment to Clean Sport.
Ms Salinas and the Mexican federation are also supported by Gustavo Luna, IFMA executive board member and head of the Spanish muaythai federation.
Children who take part in the Mexican chapter of IFMA ‘s social programme ‘Sport Is Your Gang’ supported the national flags on stage. They also gave a muaythai demonstration.
The standard is high this year with many athletes in solid position to compete for gold. Many of the athletes taking part like Erin Jiminez from the USA, and Ian Escula from Peru medalled at the IFMA Worlds in Minsk earlier this year so expectations for them are high. Others like Ivan Valenzuela (Mexico), Lisanne van der Molen (Peru) and Janet Todd (USA) competed even more recently at The World Games 2017 with Todd taking bronze.
Updates on this website as the muaythai PanAmericans begin in a true celebration of the growth and development of the sport.