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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

Muaythai no more for Thais, it now belongs to World communities

Bangkok, 08 December, ( 2007 World Muaythai Championships held from November 27 to December 5, 2007 at Fashion Island , Bangkok shows the Game is now truly a “Global Sports.” “It is now no more for the “Thais,” says Dr Nat Indrapana, IOC Member and Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports, Government of Thailand, while delivering his inaugural speech on the Annual General Meeting of IFMA held on December 3, 2007 at Emerald Hotel, Bangkok . “It now belongs to the world.Oken Jeet Sandham (left), President of Muaythai Federation of India (MFI) with Hein Verbruggen, President of General Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) during IFMA World Muaythai Championships held at Fashion Island, Bangkok, from November 27 to december 5, 2007Oken Jeet Sandham (left), President of Muaythai Federation of India (MFI) with Hein Verbruggen, President of General Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) during IFMA World Muaythai Championships held at Fashion Island, Bangkok, from November 27 to december 5, 2007

The biggest ever Indian Muaythai Team led by Oken Jeet Sandham, President of Muaythai Federation of India (MFI) participated this year’s IFMA World Muaythai Championship held from November 27 to December 5, 2007 at fashion island, Bangkok , Thailand . The Indian players have shown their fighting process and skills this time, while for the first time the MFI has successfully produced four Judges and Referees this time. It is instead a major achievement for Indian Muaythai under leadership of MFI President Oken Jeet Sandham.

There is an increase of 18 IFMA-Member countries than last year’s World Muaythai Championships (2006) at Bangkok . 82 countries participated in 2006 World Muaythai Championships at Bangkok and this year 100 countries took part shaking the entire world, besides becoming a fast growing “Global Sports.” This year’s World Championships and the participation by 100 national teams clearly manifested that “Muaythai is on the right path and our dream can become reality,” says His Excellency General Pichitr Kullavanaijaya, Privy Councilor to His Excellency the King of Thailand.

Appealing to all the National Federations around the world to work hard for unity to take Muaythai into many Games around the world, General Pichir Kullavanijaya informed that the “Muaythai is already included in the SEA Games, Arafura Games, the 2008 World Sport for All Games in Korea which is supported by the IOC, and the 2010 World Martial Arts Games.”

Welcoming Muaythai friends from around the world to the WMC-IFMA World Muaythai Championship 2007 on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary, Prime Minister of Thailand General (Ret.) Surayud Chulanont said Muaythai had long been, and always would be, “a part of the Thai cultural heritage.” “I am therefore gratified that Muaythai is reaching every corner of the world through the participation of 100 countries in these World championships.”

Jacques Rogge, President of International Olympic Committee (IOC) while expressing his “greatest pleasure” in supporting the IFMA World Championships 2007 in celebration of His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday said “In the last two decades Muaythai has established itself globally in Martial Arts World and the inclusion in GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federation) in 2006 elevated Muaythai into an internationally recognized sport.”

“The sport of Muaythai has an ever growing popularity and we are delighted to have Muaythai, under the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA), be an element of GAISF,” elucidates Hein Verbruggen, GAISF President. “Muaythai, a unique martial art with its embedded traditions and values, has flourished to a sport with marvelous spectator appeal,” he stated adding, “As proven by the number of participants from 100 countries for this year’s IFMA World Championships Muaythai unquestionably is growing sport worldwide.”

Dr Nat Indrapana, IOC Member and Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports says, “Muaythai has now truly become a world sport. Its inclusion in GAISF marks its entry into Olympic family, which is a source of great pride for all of us. Muaythai has already been included in many prestigious games, including this year’s SEA Games and future is full of promise as we look forward to the World Sport For ALL Games and the GAISF World Martial Art Games, both under the patronage of the IOC.

“The WMC is the sole body recognized by the Royal Thai Government for the professional art of Muaythai. The IFMA is recognized by GAISF for the Amateur Sport of Muaythai,” says HE Dr Sivit Yodmani, Minister of Tourism and Sports Thailand. “Indeed, over 100 countries are under banner of WMC and IFMA following the same rules and guidelines which has taken the sport into GAISF and the Olympic movement.”

“As the traditional martial art of Thailand, Muaythai has grown to become one of the most popular and exciting ring sports on the global stage, through the hard work of passionate people in Thailand and people from around the world,” says General Chetta Thanajaro, President of WMC. Ching-Kuo Wu, IOC Member and President of International Boxing Associating (AIBA) says, “The growing popularity of Muaythai testifies to its increasingly important position in the world of sports.”

The Chairman of Peace Through Sport, President of Jordan Olympic Committee and Member of IOC Women and Sport Commission, HRH Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan says, “Athletes from 100 countries, covering all continents, have come together in the spirit of friendship to participate in the 2007 IFMA Muaythai World Championships and is a wonderful example of the Peace Through Sport values.” He asserted he always believed in the power of sport to unite people regardless of nationality or religion.

Karim Massimov, Prime Minister, Republic of Kazakhstan and President of FAMA, says “Muaythai is more than a martial art---it is a science, culture and sport which teaches high values and important traditions.” General Yuthasak Sasiprapha, President, National Olympic Committee of Thailand, says, “As a Thai I’m also very proud that the sport is a full member of GAISF and recognized as a world sport. Miroslaw Drzewiecki, Minister of Sports and Tourism, Republic of Poland , says, “I am very pleased to see this beautiful martial art gaining supporters and becoming a world recognized sport.”

Kon Vatskalis MLA, Minister for Sport , Northern Territory , Australia wished all competitors the best of luck for their 2007 World Championships. Describing the IFMA World Muaythai Championship 2007 as “great Event,” Marius L Vizer President International Judo Federation says, “These Championships will bring together the best Muaythai athletes from around the world and I am very sure it will gain the success it deserves.” Secretary General of World TaeKwonDo Federation Jin Suk Yang congratulated IFMA Organizing Committee for putting up excellent IFMA World Muaythai Championships. World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinos Ortueta also wished the Organizing Committee and all of the competing athletes the very best of luck during the tournament.

Raphael Martinetti, President of Federation Internationale des Luttes Associees, Yoshimitsu Takeyasu, President of International Kendo Federation, Raymond Smith, Vice President of International Wushu Federation, Paul Hoglund, President of International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Peter A Goldsbury, President of International Aikido Federation, Christine Dominguez, Director General of GAISF, Yeo Kyu Tae, President of Korean Muaythai Association, Wan-shik Hong, Secretary General of TAFISA World Sports for All Games, Mark Burnett, President and Founder of Mark Burnett Production and Ennio Falsoni, President of World Association of Kickboxing Organization also extended their heartiest welcome to the Organizing Committee of the 2007 IFMA World Muaythai Championships for successfully staging the biggest ever Muaythai Championships on earth.

Wishing athletes from 100 countries all the best for the competitions, IFMA General Secretary Stephan Fox said, “Even though in the end, there can be only one winner from each division, each and every one of you is already a winner for being part of this glorious championships held in honor of His Majesty the King (of Thailand).” “The future of Muaythai looks bright,” says Kajorn Prowsri, FAMA Vice President and Vice President of AMTAT.

Welcoming all the participants of 100-Member countries, GAIFS and other martial arts officials, friends and spectators to the Kingdom and to the 2007 World Muaythai Championships, IFMA President Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan lauded the hard works of their 116-member Federations around the world for making Muaythai under the aegis of IFMA one family and Global Sports.

- Asian Tribune -

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