The Central World Convention Center was filled to the last seat with spectators cuing outside where special screening places were organized. The event was aired on over 70 TV channels including the Olympic Channel. Seventy large screens were displayed all over Bangkok.
The VIP section was filled with royalty, representatives from the Royal Thai government, embassies, the Olympic movement and the list goes on. It was an incredible day for the athletes, the promotion of Muaythai showcasing why Muaythai is one of the most outstanding combat sports and martial arts in the world.
The event began with the female division where Aphichaya Lekmat from Thailand, in a very close contest with 1 point difference, beat Cheryl Gwa Wei Ying from Singapore with both athletes showcasing world class Muaythai.
Turkish athlete Gulistan Turan beat Desiree Rovira Ramirez from Spain to claim the first gold medal of the Finals for Turkey and in the Male elite 51kg Samchai Promnin competed for Thailand with Ovsep Aslanyan from AIN in another nail-biting performance with AIN taking the fight by one point.
In the 57kg male division, the finals saw Ruach Gordan from Israel who has been one of the most outstanding athletes of the event competing against Sayed Rohullah Mosawi from Afghanistan. Ruach put on a lifetime performance displaying each weapon of Muaythai with perfection taking the bout and the first gold medal for Israel for the day.
In the female 57kg division, AIN athlete Maria Klimova beat Neflse Atalay from Turkey while Turkey took their second gold medal in the male 63.5 kg division with Sercan Koc beating Abil Galiyev from Kazakhstan.
The match everyone wanted to see sadly did no happen as Bediha Tacyildiz from Turkey could not make weight and World Games Champion Zoe Putorak won the championship by default.
In the 67kg male division, it was Israel Maxim Branis versus Thai Champoin Narin Wongklakho. The match showcased the incredible improvement Israel has had over the las 16 months. Narin from Thailand, with the support of an enthusiastic crowd, took the fight with one point.
In the female 67kg division, AIN’s Valeria Albul beat Halime Eke from Turkey and it was the male 71kg final which was one of the highlights with AIN athlete, Konstantin Shakhtarin beating Thai superstar Thotsaphon Saophanao with an outstanding performance.
In the 75kg division Swedish athlete Mustafa Aboutaka beat AIN athlete Magomed Magomedov winning the first gold for Sweden’s male division in 19 years since 2004.
In the 81kg male division, what a fight it was between Iraq’s Mustafa Al Tekreeti beating Artiom Livadari from Moldova on the closest of margins.
In the female 54kg division it was USA’s rising star, Megan Washam against Mexico’s World Games silver medalist Laura Burgos in another very close contest with Megan taking the fight.
AIN athlete Renat Suleimanov lost against Thailand’s Thiradon Srisanok and in the 45kg female division, history was made when Philippines won their first ever female gold medal when Islay Erika Bomagao beat Sweden’s superstar, Camilla Denielsson.
In the 54 kg male division, another nail-biting fight took place between Kazakhstan’s Shamil Yermagambetov against Macau’s Tak Chuen Suen and Macau showed that their development work since the pandemic has paid off with this match keeping spectators at the edge of their seats. In the end it was Kazakhstan taking the fight by one point.
In the 60kg female finals it was USA’s former Youth World Champion and silver medal winner of the World Games showcasing why she is one of the best female fighters in the world winning against Ewin Ates from Sweden.
In the 60kg male division, AIN Athlete Asadula Imangazaliev silenced the crowd with a stunning performance beating Thai superstar Phongsathon Rueangnoi.
In the 71 kg female division it was another AIN athlete, Ekaterina Bezhan beating Croatia’s Helena Jurisic, while in the -75 kg division it was Sweden’s Irene Forsell Nilsson with an incredible performance beating Turkey’s Mensure Karadayi.
In the +75kg female division it was Cyprus making history with their first ever gold medal beating Irina Larionova from AIN.
In the 86kg male division, it was World Games champion Aaron Ortiz beating Damion C. from South Africa.
In the -91kg male division Jacky Jeanne from France lost against AIN athlete Gadzhi Medzhidov from AIN and in another fantastic fight, AIN’s Dmitriii Vasenev beat Turkey’s Umut Eryilmaz in the +91kg male division.
In the Senior Female Wai Kru division finals, Thailand’s Thanawan Thongduang beat Philippines Islay Erika Bomogao.
In the Senior Male Wai Kru Dvision 18-24 division, Hong Kong made history with their first gold medal when Ka Chun Mok beat Philippines’ Johnden Aldana.
In the Senior Male 25-32 division, Iraq’s Ali Mohammedawi fell short against Vietnam’s Yen Nguyen Van.
In the Mai Muay a final contest took place between Iraq’s Ali Kinanah and Hussein Al Zubaidi against Jordan’s Saif Zakzook and Walid Zakzook with Iraq winning in the closest of margins against Jordan claiming their second gold medal.
The medal ceremonies saw some very emotional moments but above all, it was about friendship, respect.
Many of the athletes will meet again in the many upcoming multi-sport competition including the European Games and the World Combat Games.
Muaythai was showcased again in world class competition standard where the athletes took center stage being true ambassadors for the Olympic Values and where the international federation creates everlasting memories standing in solidarity with one another towards a better tomorrow.
Thank you to the athletes, the coaches, the officials, the medical personnel, the pi muay, the hundreds of volunteers and the host country, Thailand. The event no doubt was in Olympic standard. Striving for excellence is what the athletes aim to achieve and the organizers must fulfill.