Today was a bitter-sweet day as the excitement of the finals mixed with the last few hours of what has been a warm and welcoming championships. Nine gold medals were awarded along with silver and bronze to some of the best young muaythai athletes around.
A beautiful closing ceremony wrapped up the day, with Thai musicians and dancers bringing in the 23 flags of the countries where the students live. There were 71 different universities represented here this week, and they can all be justly proud of the huge effort their students made – whether winning medals or taking part.
Four of the bouts were from the women’s divisions. Andra Aho representing Estonian Academy of Security Sciences took gold at 54kg against Laura De Blas Polytechnic University of Madrid in a teep-heavy match-up. And at 60kg Nili Block representing The Interdisciplinary Center in Israel took a convincing win against Alejandra Romero from the Complutense University of Madrid. She celebrated afterwards with a large contingent of Israeli tourists who just happened to be there, nice moment.
Bediha Tacyildiz claimed gold in an exciting bout for the Düzce University against Russian athlete Viktoriia Sidorova representing the Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics. Bediha won well on points, powering in the shots right to the end even as Viktoriia defended well.
In the men’s divisions it was quality bout after quality bout, with a number of contenders for fight of the tournament. At 57kg Belarus student Nikalai Sviadomski representing the Belarusian National Technical University took gold against Mark Valovich representing the National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health named after P.F. Lesgaf – a really great bout between two well-matched young athletes.
Yutthana Takhianva was delighted to take gold in a tense match against Arifkhanov Bakytzhan Kazakhstan, with great support from the home crowd when it looked like things were not going his way – winning 29:28 points for IPE. His team-mate Pratchaya Nangkasem also took gold, defeating Russian student Alexander Skvortsov by just one point at 29:28, again a fast-paced bout with a huge focus on body-kicks and strong body-shots with the hands.
At 81kgs, we saw another high-calibre bout with both athletes previously having been medalists at this weight in The World Games. Ali Dogan for the Erciyes University won on points against Nikita Shostak for the Belarusian State University of Physical Education.
The women were back in the ring again with Yadrung Chommanee Teahiran taking gold for IPE against Maria Klimova studying at the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law. Chommanee is a hugely popular athlete in Thailand, and kept the crowd on their seats as Maria fired in the punches but not able to do enough.
The last bout of the night kept that energy going with a huge battle between Belarus’ Maxim Petkevich and Thai student Natee Chanates. Again this was 19:19 after two rounds, and pretty even scoring in the Crowd Cheering section too. Although the Thai supporters did have drums so maybe that’s what carried Natee to the win on 29 – 28.
Check the full results on this website here.
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