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27 July 2018 | in Muaythai, FISU World University Championships

Future stars emerge in medal rounds of WUC Muaythai

First timers from Estonia, Spain and Kazakhstan steal the show

 

PATTAYA — The most exciting thing about University Sports is watching new faces emerge, who are sure to make their mark in the years to come. Day 4 at the FISU World University Muaythai Championship was no different. It was time for the semi-finals and for the world-class student athletes to start vying for medals.

 

In the women’s competition, Andra Aho from Estonia and Laura De Blas from Spain, who are both relatively new to the amateur Muaythai scene, emerged very strong. Andra beat her Thai opponent Apinya Butrduang after a terrific three-rounder, using a strong push-kick or ‘teep’ to dominate proceedings in the ring.

 

A student at the Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn, she later described how good she felt. “I feel great, winning is always so great. And this is cool for me here, I’ll be the first Estonian to have a FISU medal for Muaythai.”

 

Andra will meet Spain’s Laura in the final, who is also new to the IFMA podiums. So Muaythai fans should not miss the women’s 54kg final on Sunday.

 

In the men’s divisions, two young athletes from Russia - Aleksei Fedotov and Vitalii Filippov - who have never been on the national team before, marched through to the finals, in the 75 kg and 86 kg categories respectively. Vitalii said this is his first time in Thailand, and he was excited just to be here. The medal is an added bonus.

 

Student-athletes from Kazakhstan meanwhile, are also on fire with four of them contesting semi-finals on Friday and another two already qualified for the finals on Saturday.

 

The bouts in the ring may be fierce, but the camaraderie outside it is equally delightful. If you’re watching the competition on live-streaming here, you can catch an occasional moment when the fighters cross over to their opponent’s corner and take a drink of water from the coach. Even though they just fought, they’re all one family. And that, is the other great thing about University Sports.

 

Download all the results from Day 4, here.