Iraq muaythai held qualifiers for the IFMA Youth World Championships with over 60 young athletes entering the tournament. The Youth Worlds will be held in August.

The Iraq Muaythai Federation have been working on expanding their youth divisions, starting with the boys section and they have plans for future development with girls also.

This year clubs from seven different provinces competed, meaning the national team will really represent Iranian muaythai.

The organisers said: ” Thanks to the senior technical committee headed by Professor Hassan Sudanese and thanks to the trained committee headed by Captain Mustafa Jabbar You and thanks to all judges present.”

Iraqi champion Ameer Takella says the system is similar to that of the senior team: “Muaythai is growing in Iraq, before it was in just one area but now you can train everywhere around the country. There are gyms in the north, the centre and other parts.”

Ameer Takella, at the 2017 World Championships in Minsk

Earlier this year muaythai trainers and coaches from Iraq attended an IGLA training session in Abu Dhabi with IFMA organised by the UAE Muaythai Federation and IFMA’s Stephan Fox. Both federations are committed to working together to standardise and raise the levels of muaythai in their countries.