Anyone who practices Muaythai has a special place in their heart for Thailand, the country which gave the world this beautiful martial art. A visit there is a reminder that Muaythai is more than sport, and for Belgian Muaythai it was a reminder that giving back can be as rewarding as learning.
It has begun. Nearly 70 teams out of an expected 83 teams are already checked into Bangkok for the Youth World Championships with a record number of delegates expected ti bring the overall number to close to 1,200.
The Royal Thai Government, The Amateur Muaythai Association under Royal Patronage and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur made a combined press conference and there could not have been a more appropriate venue than the arena itself.
Today muaythai history was made with the awarding of the first medals in at the first muaythai World University Championships. The FISU anthem was played nine times as the medals were awarded in glorious sunshine.
Today was the last chance to qualify for the finals at the muaythai World University Championships with semi-finals in men’s and women’s divisions. Tears of joy and sadness along with some of the most exciting muaythai match-ups of the tournament.
There is a busy sports schedule at the first muaythai World University Championships, but balance is key to everything. And so there is a also a busy tourist schedule which the athletes and officials can avail of when they are free, packed with educational and cultural visits outside the town of Pattaya.
At IFMA we like to say a healthy body means a healthy mind, and that’s never been more true than here at the first World University Championships for muaythai. These athletes hit muaythai pads in the gym, and then use that energy to hit the books at 71 universities.
In the second day of muaythai action for the World University Championships, some familiar faces including Ali Dogan jumped the ropes for a busy day. Taking place in the busy tourist town of Pattaya, the crowds had plenty to cheer about as 16 countries vied for places in the next round.