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25 July 2018 | in Muaythai, FISU World University Championships

Home crowds boost Team Thailand at Muaythai Championship

Turkey’s Ali Dogan also wins popular support

 PATTAYA – The second day of competition at the FISU World University Muaythai Championship was a busy one. There were 13 bouts in all, three in the women’s divisions and ten for the men, so there was frenetic activity all day.


Among the stand-out athletes in action during the day was Ali Dogan from Turkey. He found immense support from the otherwise partisan Thai crowd, as the knowledgeable spectators know him as the gold medallist from the World Games last year.


After a tough fight against Russia’s Artem Stratov, Dogan said, “Yes, it’s great, I’m through to the finals now. It was hard, it was a hard fight. I hope people at home in Turkey will pray for me now, pray that I win gold!”


Host team Thailand had a mixed day, taking two wins from four bouts including a win for Chamuanjit Nuttacha. There was no shortage of crowd support though. Nearly all the visiting athletes say they feel there is an extra man in the ring when they face Thailand, so it takes extra effort to win. Full marks therefore, to Mikita Shostak of Belarus and Alexsei Fedotov of Russia for getting past their Thai opponents and moving onto the next rounds.


In the women’s divisions, Natalia Leciejewska of Poland won hearts as well as her bout against Sheila Omalia from the Philippines. Her beautifully plaited hair, dyed in the colours of the Polish flag, caught a lot of attention! She was had a good day indeed and it certainly didn’t hurt to have her boyfriend - world champion Lukasz Radosz – in her corner.


Also looking forward to the next bouts is Saso Vorapic from Slovenia. “I won my first bout, and now I’m in the semi-finals,” she said, happily. “That’s on Thursday so I have some time now to relax, and support the others.”


The host city Pattaya being a tourist mecca, the spectator stands quickly fill up not just with locals but also with tourists, especially in the evening session. They’ve been receiving a crash course in traditional Thai culture. At the start of each bout, the two athletes perform a ritual known as ‘Wai Kru’ , a dance that represents gratitude to trainers and coaches.


Day 3 will bring another chance for new faces to make their mark as future stars of the sport. The action is live, right here.