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28 July 2018 | in Muaythai, FISU World University Championships

First WUC Muaythai medals ever awarded in Thailand

Yelaman Sayassatov takes on Aslanbeke Zirkeev in the FISU World University Muaythai Championship in Thailand

PATTAYA, THAILAND – On the sixth day of competition at the FISU World University Muaythai Championship history was made with the awarding of the first ever medals.

 

In blazing sunshine the crowds sat with hats and ice-cream to watch the day’s nine finals. And of course hear the FISU anthem as the beautiful medals emblazoned with the five FISU stars were awarded.

 

Aleksei Fedotov of Russia raises his hand in victory of the 1st edition of the FISU World University Muaythai Championship in his weight class final against Ali Choucair of LebanonRussia’s Aleksei Fedotov defeated Ali Choucair (Lebanon) after a very tight fight, it was 19:19 after two rounds with all to play for in the third. Fedotov took the win to his delight, and simply said afterwards he was happy but exhausted.

 

The Lebanese competitor Choucair said that he, too, was proud of his silver as he’s from a mountainous region of Lebanon with a reputation for strength of character, before adding: “I’m just proud to see the Lebanese flag flying here“. A Lebanese student won gold at the 2015 FISU Muaythai cup, with Choucair adding that he’s proud to add another medal to that collection.

 

The first women’s bout was a tough three-rounder that pitted Nuttacha Chamuanjit from Thailand against Natalie Leciejewska of Poland. It was surely to the delight of the home crowrd that the Thai fighter Chamuanjit earned the gold. Another Thai student Kittisak Suksanguan took gold at 67kg after an equally close bout against Matysaev Bekzhan of Kyrgyzstan.

 

Both Thai athletes study at the Physical Education Institute and said afterwards they get special permission to leave classes for competitions like this so it doesn’t affect their academic standing. Kittisak added: ”We get letters from the organisers and then the university allows us to participate. We study in the mornings and train after that.”

Nuttacha Chamuanjit of Thailand raises her hands in victory in the first ever women's final bout of the FISU World University Muaythai Championship. Chamuanjit went up against Natalie Leciejewska of Poland for the title.  

Australian Diandra Martin, who studies at Canberra University, took gold in the 63.5kg final, going up against Saeaia Phaenphloi of Thailand. As the sole Australian representative at this tournament, it was a huge achievement.

 

And in the last women’s bout at 67kg Russian student-athlete Ekaterina Bezhan earned the gold to France’s Maelle Deboulle silver.

 

As today was Saturday the crowds were bigger than during the week, and it was great to see them getting involved in the action – choosing someone to support in each bout.

 

Speaking after winning gold at 60kgs Belarus student Artsem Vinnik said: “I’ve no words to describe how I’m feeling. This is the first time I’ve been in Thailand, and the atmosphere coming out to the ring, the music – I like it so much. I can’t help wanting to fight here again, I’d like to come back for another FISU tournament!”

 Kittisak Suksanguan celebrates gold at the 67kg weight category at the FISU World University Muaythai Championship

After the medal ceremonies, the athletes and officials took part in a candlelit Ceremony to make the birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand. The beautiful cultural ceremony was a reminder of the ancient links between Muaythai and the country of the sport’s origin.

 

Tomorrow is the last day, and your last chance to watch live action from the World University Muaythai Championship. 18 students from 16 different universities will enter the arena with a chance to call themselves the world's finest muaythai university student-athlete tomorrow.