The Arab nations are setting the bar for driving Unity, solidarity and diversity as they echoed the IFMA this year hosting both a Arab Championships and a Youth Championships. From the Elite in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to the Youth in Tripoli, Libya. The 2023 dual Arab Championships can only be described as an amazing success.
His Excellency Abdullah Al Neyadi welcomed the athletes and delegations to the ADNEC Convention Center in Abu Dhabi showing his pride in the many athletes who overcame heartfelt challenges to be part of the event. The convention center was transformed into a beautiful Muaythai Village with the stadium showcasing 2 muaythai rings, a medical check center, athletes village and the education forum. An amazing venue for an Elite Championship made even better with especially when teams like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon and the host country, UAE, competed for fame and glory.
The action started on Day one with 60 bouts and continued over four days with much excitement. The VIP section was overflowing with delegates from the government, National, Para and Special Olympic Committees. There were also some beautiful Wai Kru performances that complimented the live Pi Muay band flown in from Thailand. The use of traditional music was a highlight of the event as they not only preserved the tradition and atmosphere of muaythai during the exciting competitions but even entertained the viewers with pre-fight performances much to the delight of the audience.
The President of the Asian and Arab Muaythai Federation HE Abdullah Al Neyadi took time out to visit the athletes before the finals wishing them good luck and thanked them for being such outstanding ambassadors for Muaythai and the Arab world.
The Executive Director of the UAE Muaythai Federation, Tareq Al Mehairi, could not hide his pride for the success of the event which was, once again, another milestone in the development of muaythai, IFMA, and the Arab Muaythai Federation.
The Arab Muaythai Federation under the Presidency of His Excellency Abdullah Al Neyadi and the Libyan Muaythai Federation under President Mohamed Al-Zrouq hosted over 299 athletes at the Youth Championships this August in Tripoli where a festival atmosphere reverberated through the stadium with the smiles of joy lighting up the young faces of twenty different countries.
Inclusiveness and diversity were cornerstones of the 2023 Arab Youth Championships demonstrating that now more than ever, sport must build bridges in our fragile world and athletes are the perfect example that people can live together under one roof understanding and accepting their differences.
The event brought many VIPs from around the country, including the opening by the Prime Minister of Libya, His Excellency Eng. Abdul Hamid Al-Dabiba and the President of the National Olympic Committee, Dr. Jamal Al-Zorouk. The championships were blessed by VIP visitors from the Sports Ministry, Cultural Ministry, Youth Ministry and from the embassies of all participating countries as they came to support the young athletes from the participating Arab countries.
The overall medal standings showed why Iraq is one of the driving forces in muaythai as they dominated the table ahead of Morocco and Egypt. The breadth of talent demonstrated Arab’s pride with many outstanding performances from both female and male competitors of every country in attendance.
Arab Muaythai Federation’s President Abdullah Al Neyadi said, “This event was a major test for the youth for the upcoming Youth World Championships in Antalya, Turkey, where youth athletes will come together in friendly sporting and cultural exchange. We can be proud of our youth and the future of Arab muaythai is more than safe in their hands.” He congratulated the Libyan Muaythai Federation. Stating that “The atmosphere and hospitality of the Libyan people will leave everlasting memories for the IFMA Arab youth.”
IFMA congratulates the referees and judges for promoting and standing by fair play, the medical staff for ensuring the health and safety of the athletes and all the volunteers who welcomed the athletes and delegations all over the Arab region with warm hospitality and who kept everyone smiling from start to finish.