The first ever Mediterranean Muaythai Games and Open Muaythai Championships were held between the 2nd and the 5th of November in Loutraki, Corinth. The venue of the games was the prestigious Olympic Center of Peristeri “G. Stefanopoulos”.
On November second, athletes arrived from a total of 12 countries to participate in the Mediterranean Muaythai Games and from a total of 9 countries to participate in the Mediterranean Open Muaythai Championship. These countries included Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Hellas, Italy, Spain, Iran, Kosovo, Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Serbia, Czech Republic, and Turkey. The official facilities of the event were the Loutraki Sportcamp and the Loutraki Club Hotel.
The Opening Ceremony took place the following day during which the International Muaythai Federation of Associations (IFMA) Referees (ITOs) led the parade followed by the participating National Greek referees. They were followed by the athletes from each of the 12 participating countries with an outstanding show of muaythai talent amongst them. With their flags held high it was easy to see the honour the athletes had with this chance to represent their respective countries. The flags were supported by each individual team’s National Anthem playing proudly in the background.
An artful demonstration of Wai Kru and Mai Muay was showcased by the athletes Achlada Dimitra and Noutsis Eleonora. The Opening Ceremony came to an end with the awarding of honourary plaques to the presidents of the countries by the President of the Panhellenic Muaythai Federation – P.O.M., Mr. Ioannis Papadopoulos.
The President of the P.O.M. federation spoke about the enourmous pleasure and honour to host the Games and Open Championships in Loutraki. He expressed how important the presence of every athlete, coach, referee, official, country and supporters was and wished everyone the best of luck and said that he hoped the athletes would enjoy their matches and go home with many good memories and without injury. He ended by acknowledging that even though this was the first international event held in Greece he was sure that many more would follow”. As the opening ceremony ended the first muaythai combat bouts began.
The matches continued on November 4th and ended on Sunday, November 5th. In the Mediterranean Games the Greek National Team ranked first, winning nine Gold medals, followed a close second by both the Turkish and Moroccan Federations totalling seven Gold medals each. While in the Mediterranean Open Championship, Greek athletes won a total of 20 Gold medals meaning the Host country took first place once again. They were followed by Turkey with three Gold medals and in third place Italy with two Gold medals.
The POM federation expressed their deepest thanks to all the participants for their valuable support, as well as all the team managers, who, with the perfect coordination of their athletes, contributed to the smooth running and undeniable success of the games. Stating that it was their great pleasure to host the first Mediterranean Championship, and further help to promote new opportunities for the ever growing number of athletes helping to further support the continuation of the centuries-old sports tradition entrenched in the history of their home country, Greece.
With a special thanks to the sponsors of the MOP federation for their valuable contributions: Top Ten, Force1, Seven Hellas, Natural Mineral Water Loutraki “Hydria”, Digital IQ, BML Security, Supreme Insurance Services, Onskin.
We all look forward to more similar games as they grow across the world opening up more opportunities to all participants of muaythai in all its various disciplines and career pathways.