Today in spite of hours of heavy rain, the muaythai youth turned out for the semi-finals at the National Stadium with some gold medals given in smaller divisions. The competition was fierce from the youngest divisions up with national flag waving and competitive cheering the order of the day.
At the moment Thailand tops the medal table with eight gold medals, followed by Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia. And Libya also claimed gold today in the 10 year old division when Abdulmalik Ishlawah defeated his Thai opponent Kantapoom Kaewsom in a tight bout.
This could all change tomorrow, with for example Ukraine winning five out of five bouts today to claim places in boys’ division finals. They saw off opposition from Moldova, Greece, Russia and Israel (x 2).
The large Turkish team sent through six athletes to the finals tomorrow. UAE at their first Youth tournament claimed two bronze medals, and Ireland also at their first Youth tournament took two silver medals in the girls’ division.
Jade Jorand who won gold last year for France is through again to the final, as are twins Emily and Sophie Curtain (Australia) – they celebrated their birthday in the stadium today with two semi-final wins.
Other teams taking home medals include New Zealand who so far have four medals including two golds, and Team USA who have two golds already for Maile Eugenio-Caras and Lei Saludares. Tomorrow in the finals they face an international line-up of Germany, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Iran and Turkey.
Bouts start early tomorrow to make sure there is enough time for the all-important medal ceremonies, and for a cultural Closing Ceremony involving dance and martial arts displays.
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