The 7th European Muaythai Championships and 12th European Cup, under the sanctioning of IFMA, kicked off with a fantastic opening ceremony in the beautiful Turkish city of Antalya. The Championships are jointly organised by IFMA continental federation, the European Muaythai Federation (EMF) and IFMA member national federation, the Turkish Muaythai Federation (TMF).

The Mayor of Antalya, Mr. Mustafa Akaydın, EMF General Secretary Mr. Rafal Szlachta, TMF President Mr. Halil Durna and many other officials attended the opening ceremony, which was held at the Dilek Sabancı Sport Hall.

“The popularity of Muaythai in Turkey is increasing year after year. The fact that 42 countries are participating in this event also reflects the popularity of Muaythai in Europe and that Europe is ready with the Muaythai recognition process with the International Olympic Committee,” said TMF President Mr. Halil Durna.

He also mentioned that this will be the last test event for Europe before the upcoming IFMA 2012 World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 2012 Muaythai World Championships are taking place a year before the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games are held, also hosted by the city of St. Petersburg.

The opening ceremony combined an engaging mix of cultural exchange, friendship, sport, and most certainly featured the beautiful history and culture of the host country, Turkey.