The Youth World Championships 2018 attracted young muaythai athletes from around the world who showed amazing skills in the ring, became stars of the gala night, tried the seats at the United Nations headquarters in Asia and made friendships sure to last for years to come.
This year muaythai again proved to be a truly universal sport with athletes from all continents stepping on the highest step of the medal podium at the awarding ceremony. Athletes from 46 countries out of the participating 82 went home with medals of different value bringing fame to their country, school and gyms.
The final days of the championships saw many emotional moments when the winners shared the joy of making the world’s best athletes. These have been the moments to remember and IFMA is proud of the grass root growth in each country. The record number of participants coming to compete is the best evidence that the future of Muaythai is secured.
Many athletes made their first steps in their international career at the Youth World Championships 2018 and for some, it was a stepping stone to the world of Elite Muaythai where they will challenge the famous champions for their title.
From Iraq Ayad Albadr won gold at 51 kgs defeating athletes from Portugal, Moldova and Thailand to get to the podium. Peruvian athlete Arena Castro Buscaglia won against Russia and Turkey on her way to gold, claiming the 16 to 17 over 75kg title.
Australia’s Sophie Curtain (below) also had an international road to the finals leaving Poland, Russia and Turkey in her wake.
Smaller national teams also scored well on the medals table, with Moldova muaythai taking home seven medals with a team of 12 including one gold. Travelling all the way from New Zealand the team of 13 took six medals including one gold.
Grassroots development in other countries also showed great results with muaythai Malaysia taking nine medals for the Southeast Asian nation. Other countries traditionally strong in muaythai like Ukraine and Kazakhstan and host nation Thailand (photo above) laid down strong markers for the future, training up the next generation.
IFMA is looking forward to the next edition of the Youth Muaythai Forum to again see smiling faces of the muaythai kids celebrating sporting and cultural exchange.
See full results on IFMA Live and get more information on each athlete.