Over 370 athletes representing 22 European national delegations marched in proudly at the Taha Akgul Sports Hall in the Turkish Capital city of Ankara.
With some of the largest delegations at the event, the athlete, coach and technical officials oaths were read by Alexandra Khatzhaki from Greece, Tamas Csiillag from Hungary and Farid Garayev from Azerbaijan respectively.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Turkish Sports Ministry, Ankara Provincial Manager of Youth and Sports Mr Mustafa Celik, representatives from the Royal Thai Embassy, EMF Executive Committee members and all athletes and officials participating in the event.
Ankara Provincial Manager of Youth and Sports Mr Mustafa Celik made the welcome address and thanked all nations for the incredible support that has been given to Turkiye following the recent natural disaster that devastated 11 cities. He commended the Turkish Muaythai Federation for their commitment to sport and its ability to inspire and rise above all challenges.
Turkish Muaythai Federation Hasan Yildiz warmly welcomed all the participants to Ankara and thanked them for their support. He noted that youth events are especially important to build for the future and continue laying the solid foundations for a sustainable development for the sport.
IFMA Director General Charissa Tynan thanked the Turkish Muaythai Federation for once again being gracious hosts for the IFMA family and reminded all participating stakeholders that the enormous power of sport must be used for good; to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, fair play, respect and non-discrimination.
Special gift presentations were made to all VIP Guests and Head of Delegations by the host organising committee to commemorate the occasion and emphasise the warm Turkish hospitality.
Preliminary bouts start tomorrow to kick off 6 days of fierce competition in the 2 rings. Good luck to all teams!