Today we reached the business end of the tournament with some bronze medal bouts and such a high standard that the venue was packed until past 10pm with a local and international crowd.
The biggest shock of the day for the local crowd was the bout between USA’s Rebekah Irwin and Team Thailand’s Phanyai Salini at 51kg in the 16 – 17 category. Phanyai is well-known in the muaythai world but Rebekah was not at all intimidated and took a clear win in dramatic fashion with a stoppage.
In other close bouts Mexico’s Juan Edurod took on Korean athlete Joon Seo Kim at 60kgs with Juan taking the points, but only in spite of some lovely elbows and body-kicks from Joon.
In Ring B Malaysia’s Kallens Barthez took on American Joey Sipylak in an epic battle for three rounds. Kallens went ahead after two rounds but Joey didn’t stop; throwing a fast combination of elbows up against the ropes and Kallens firing back with body-punches and long-range teeps in defense. Both teams were on their feet around the ring with flags waving and a huge cheer when Kallens took a points win.
In the younger divisions some of the highlights included Ramadan Ondash from Lebanon defeated Turkey’s Yasin Avgin on points, and David Chiperi Moldova defeated Yonis Anae Algeria on points.
Bottles of ice-water from the chests around the stadium were called into service all day as the athletes got a taste of competing in the tropics. And the small cafe in the corner did a roaring trade in ice-tea for the international crowd.