The muaythai competition of the Arafura Games 2019 is certainly heating up as semifinal bout list had high ranked names in virtually every bout. The Darwin Convention Center was full with spectators as two Australian athletes were coming into action this night.
IFMA big names continued their winning streak with Almaz Sarsembekov fulfilling his plan for the event and moving into the final after he won Zakaria Eljamari from UAE.
Ukraine’s Vladyslav Mykytas had his first serious test as he faced a Thai Chotichanin Kokkrachai. Chotichanin claimed first round using his knees and sweeps. Right when the Thai team believed the bout is done Vladislav came back strong in the second round, and took off all doubts about his victory after an impressive elbow knock down in the third round. Vladyslav is moving to the final against Almaz.
The French newcomer in the Elite class Lorenzo Sammartino shook up 63.5 kg division athletes gaining a confident and beautiful victory against Kaiquan Chai from Singapore, and today he won the Nhat Nguyen Tran Duy from Vietnam who disappointed the local crowd a day before winning Lee Fook. Lorenzo has had a number of appearances in the Competitive class and in Darwin he showed that he has been ready for Elite class since a long time.
Igor Liubchenko spared power for the final in his bout against Sung-Sen Huang (TPE) with the bout in a row finishing in the first round. For Igor the Arafura Games is a great chance to qualify for the World Games long in advance. His last obstacle is the young French athlete who can make sensation in Darwin not letting the Ukrainian gaining his coveted prize – the first spot in the 63.5 kg division at the World Games 2021 in USA.
Next bout was the time for the crowd to be heard when the Australian Zoe Putorak walked to the ring having an immense emotional charge from the crowd chanting her name. Zoe paid them back going strong all three rounds against Nora Cornolle (FRA). The crowd was celebrating the following victory for team Australia so loud that Pi Muay music was barely heard in the event hall.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the match was between the current European gold and World silver medalist Norbert Speth (HUN) who celebrates his birthday today and the gold medalist of the University World Championships 2018 Kittisak Suksanguan in 67 kg division. Norbert would definitely not want to be disappointed on his birthday and said that it will be a match worth a final for him. The bout did not start according to Norbert’s plan as Kittisak won the first round. In the corner before the second round Norbert was full of determination and it was a completely different bout in the round two and three with the Hungarian bombarding his opponents with punches and elbows. It was a tremendous advantage and many representatives from other teams approached Norbert to thank him for this spectacular bout.
Viktoria Ivanets and Anaelle Angerville had the third bout against each other in 57 kg which was not meant to finish as Viktoria was injured in the first round with doctors taking the safe side and advising to stop the match. The third victory for Anaelle and for Ukraine team an aim to hit as again French-Ukrainian competition resulted in the French favour.
The crowd was filling every possible viewership space in the hall with all seats long occupied to watch the home town representative of the 57 kg division Rebecca Rooney taking on Karolina Klusova (CZE). Rebecca said that she was ready for the fight and full of confidence before the fight.
The first round of the bout did not finish in Rebecca’s favour with Karolina effectively using her knees. As the round two was announced Rebecca started to fulfil her word of going hard and took the bout under control finishing it along with the cheer and support of the crowd.
Amazing day three is finished with electrifying atmosphere at the stadium. Tomorrow are the first final day and the names of the first gold medalists will be known for 7 bouts.