164 of the world’s best youth athletes entered the field of play for the 9th and final day of the Muaythai combative competition at the 2022 IFMA Youth World Championships at the Sunway Resort Convention center which has been the home of over 3000 participants for the past 10 days.
Gold medal day was filled with the 5 pillars of Muaythai: honor, respect, excellence, tradition and fair play, throughout the stadium.
Honor was seen in the pride of the youngest athletes from 8 years old to the oldest athletes of 17 in their determined faces and heads high to compete at the absolute highest standard with not only their national teams and families cheering them on but the VIP section filled with over 30 Ambassadors and Counsellors from their respective embassies, and representatives from the National Olympic Committee, Sports Ministry, GAISF and officials from the Malaysian government and also the Kingdom of Thailand.
Muaythai is over 1000 years old and the tradition and culture of the ancient martial art was celebrated on this special gold medal day as the finals of the Wai Kru Competition took place in the morning. IFMA pays tribute and honors the sport of Muaythai by flying the amazing Pi Muay ensemble to every IFMA championship. The Pi Muay played their hearts out to the rhythm of the warriors in the ring who wore traditional dress, the mongkon and prajit and paid their respects through the ancient sequences passed down through generations telling the story and history of Muaythai and paying homage to our past ancestors, teachers, family and the ones who have contributed to our Muaythai journey.
Fair play was in full force by not only the local NADO conducting the anti-doping tests for the medal winners but also through IFMA’s elite team of ITO’s and Judges keeping the next generation safe and supporting the clean athletes who have trained so hard and sacrificed so much to make their dreams come true at this year’s 2022 IFMA Youth World Championships.
The day of the finals saw the heart and soul of the athletes and all their preparation put into play with every kick, punch, knee and elbow thrown to inch the finalists to the top of the podium. IFMA can be proud of the Excellence shown in the next generation of Muaythai – from the respect they showed to their opponents and technical officials to their proud faces as their hands were raised and the cheers from their corners were hailed in celebration.
In the under 10-11 divisions there were some incredible heart jerking moments from the youth of UAE, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Germany and the IFMA Refugee team who all won gold.
In the 12-13 female division, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Estonia, the IFMA Refugee team, Malaysia and Belgium rose to the occasion in exciting matches between their opponents. In the male division, the IFMA Refugee team, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, USA, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan prevailed to win gold for their countries.
In the 14-15 female division, Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands and the IFMA Refugee team made it to the top of the podium via nail-biting matches. In the male division, Turkey, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, the IFMA Refugee team, Great Britain and Egypt had their hands raised in honor of their countries.
In the 16-17 female divisions, Australia, Thailand, IFMA Refugee team, Austria, Iran, Turkey, Belgium, USA and Malaysia stole the show. In the male divisions, Malaysia, Thailand, IFMA Refugee team, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, UAE and Turkey ended the day of finals with exciting and emotional contests and were greeted by the many VIPs who attended on the podiums.
The finalists of the 2022 World Youth Championships in KL all proudly stood at the podium listening to the anthem with their flags raised. Emotional moments of friendship, solidarity and unity in diversity brought the youth of the world in sporting exchange on this Final Gold Medal day.
IFMA is proud of their youth and the youth are proud to be part of IFMA.