IFMA said good bye to the Arafura Games and Darwin but the legacy of the event will live long after its medals traveled all around the world and in memories of participants who arrived to Australia to compete and be part of this multi sport event under the International Olympic Committee.
Last competition day gave the world first athletes qualifying for the World Games 2021 and nominees for IFMA traditional awards.
Outstanding Male Athlete award went to an athlete who made the audience stand still with his every move showing fantastic flexibility and power. Sakchai Chamchit (THA) truly deserved an award for his genuine muaythai skills.
Anaelle Angerville (FRA) vividly demonstrated why she is the world’s number one in 57 kg winning three difficult opponents at the Arafura Games. She won the third gold medal in a row in various competition with 11 fights won in a row. Anaelle upset the local crowd winning the Darwinian Rebecca Rooney. A well deserved Best Female Athlete award went to France.
One of the inspiration of the event became Anil Kumar Mehta from India who became an Indian hero entering the Elite class of the Arafura Games, and having and good fight against the bronze medalist Sung-Sen Huang (TPE). The Male Rising Star award went ti India this time.
There was no one else as deserving the Female Rising Star of 63.5 kg award as 19 year-old Zoe Putorak who made an impressive appearance in front of her native audience. Zoe won a strong opponent from France Nora Cornolle . The final bout was a true spectacle played by Zoe and Janejira Wankrue (THA). Zoe demonstrated tremendous power winning every round of her final bout. As a result – gold medal of the Arafura Games, spot at the World Games 2021 and the Rising Star award found its owner.
Best Wai Kru award was one of the most difficult to award as there have been so many beautiful performances but it was the Ukrainian Viktoria Ivanets who made the judges vote for her.
It was the Team Australia which due to the gold medal of Yolanda Schmidt, Zoe Putorak, Damon Nelson, Pia Salgado ensured the Best Team award. It was a true reason to celebrate at the Good Bye party the overall victory of the Arafura Games 2019.
Ariel Lee Lampacan (PHI) got the Spirit of Muaythai award after his performance of sportsmanship celebrating the victory of his opponent Sakchai Chamchit as his own. Muaythai is truly a special sport where competition in the ring and friendship are two inseparable parts of the sport.
IFMA made it tradition to give tribute to the members of muaythai family who serve the sport for years. This time it was Mr. Chris Samson who got an award The Longest Serving Technical Official. Mr. Samson has been with IFMA more than 20 years and truly deserved the highest appreciation for his dedication and commitment.
A special prize went to Mr. Corey Impelmans who was the driving force in Darwin to make sure the event went smooth. His contribution has truly been invaluable and a commemorative limited edition book was presented to him as a token of appreciation and gratitude.
Arafura Games gave many new names of the outstanding athletes who revealed their talents, attitude and skills. In muaythai there are many ways to be a winner and the IFMA awards will keep distinguish great athletes who excel in and out the field of play.