There were almost 700 young athletes from 82 countries gathered in Bangkok this week, all showing great muaythai skill and talent. And among them were a few who really stood out either for their ring skills or their exemplary behaviour during the tournament. IFMA honoured these young athletes and some officials at a moving ceremony after the final bouts.
It’s always difficult to pick out award winners from so many deserving candidates and this year the Jury had a particularly difficult task with over 100 gold medals awarded to these young champions.
Awards were given in the Under 14 and Over 14 categories for Outstanding Athlete (male , female), Rising Star (male, famale) as well as individual awards for Spirit of Muaythai and Sportsmanship. Teams were recognised for bringing large delegations, and separately for the all-important medal table placing. Other awards celebrated the best Hosts of 2017.
The Team awards for 2018 Youth World Championships went to:
Best Team Under 14 divisions based on medals – Russia (26 gold medals for the team!)
Best Team Over 14 divisions based on medals – USA
(With a team of 16, USA won 8 gold medals!)
Teams who made the effort to arrange and bring large delegations were also recognised – it’s no easy job training and preparing dozens of athletes for a week of competition.
The largest travelling delegation: Russia with 71 athletes
2nd largest travelling delegation: Turkey with 44 athletes
3rd largest travelling delegation: Australia with 37 athletes
Host team Thailand with 81 athletes claimed 30 gold medals for a strong showing.
The awards for showing the best muaythai skill and technique went to:
Rising Star Under 14 – silver medalist Ashley Jazmine Gavina , The Philippines
Rising Star Under 14 – bronze medalist Fergus Asher Munro Smith, Team GB
Rising Star Over 14 – gold medalist Ceren Yilmaz, Turkey
Rising Star Over 14 – gold medalist Ayad Albadr , Iraq
Outstanding Girl Under 14 – gold medalist Kullathida Kueasanor , Thailand
Outstanding Girl Over 14 – gold medalist (3 years in a row) Sophie Curtain , Australia
Outstanding Boy Under 14 – gold medalist Baurzhan Mukhambetaliuly , Kazakhstan
Outstanding Boy Over 14 – gold medalist (3 years in a row) Amirkhan Zakriev , Russia
The award for showing the Spirit of Muaythai went to ten year old Amer Kucevic from Belgium for his enthusiasm and love of all aspects of muaythai.
The award for Sportsmanship went to Jade Jorand from France, silver medalist for her gracious interactions with her opponents.
And of course we cannot forget the 3rd person in the ring – Italian referee Rodolfo Meoni was recognised for his skills and ability to work with the young athletes in the ring, and his commitment to muaythai.
A special award for LifeTime achievement was given to Mr Kajorn Prowsee who has dedicated his life to the development of amateur muaythai – in his 80s today, he can still be found at the Arena every day, watching proceedings with a hawklike eye. A father to generations of young athletes, it was an honour for everyone to see him once again on the stage with this new generation of international athletes.
See full results on IFMA Live and get more information on each athlete.