Team Mexico faced the tough challenge of hosting 77 other muaythai teams in their home, and competing in front of their home supporters. It was a challenge they rose to splendidly, taking 10 medals across male and female divisions.
Their road to the podium was assisted by loud and constant support from all sides of the arena, with singing, chanting and even the dreaded vuvuzela horn! Every visiting athlete looked forward to facing Mexico, as one said: “You’re know you’re in their home town, and they will throw everything at you.”
Head of the federation Elisa Salinas, who is also head of the Pan-Am Continental Muaythai Federation led the way, in attendance daily at the Arena. She also took part in the early morning Good Morning Cancun training session on the beautiful Cancun Beach by the Carribbean Sea.
IFMA’s Stephan Fox said he is sure that among the crowd watching at the Grand Oasis resort and on Mexican television is the next generation of Mexican muaythai – inspired and thrilled by the excellent performance of the Mexican muaythai federation in 2018.
In the ring Mexico claimed one gold, two silver and seven bronze medals. Among them Ivan Valenzuela who represented Mexico at The World Games last year, and Mariana Ramirez who thrilled the crowd defeating the favoured champion from Vietnam in her first bout. Paola Gonzalez faced defending world champion Alena Liashkevich from Belarus in the final, taking silver.
Ramses Barbosa took gold in the +91kg competitive level for men. Coach Jesus Santamaria can be justly proud of his charges, not to mention his own efforts in being part of the organising committee for this fantastic championships.
Catch up with results on IFMA LIve, and follow IFMA on social media for behind-the-scenes updates: