Kickboxing C'ship set to make debut

Kickboxing C'ship set to make debut

Muay Thai superstar Buakaw Banchamek poses at a press conference yesterday. x
Muay Thai superstar Buakaw Banchamek poses at a press conference yesterday. x

The Thailand Kickboxing Championship 2022 will be held at the Thai-Japanese Stadium from Oct 29-30, officials said yesterday.

The inaugural tournament, aimed at promoting the sport and also recruiting athletes for the Thai national team, features three categories of competitors between 13-15, 16-18 and 19-40 years old.

The event will use the rules of the World Association of Kickboxing Organisation.

Mainly supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), the tournament is the latest move by the Kickboxing Association of Thailand to promote the sport which has enjoyed an increase in popularity since its success at the SEA Games in Vietnam earlier this year.

"As it is similar to Muay Thai, the country's traditional sport, kickboxing has become more and more popular among the Thai people," Gen Kookiat Srinaka, a senior official from the Kickboxing Association of Thailand, told a press conference.

"Interestingly, our athletes performed well, winning two gold medals at the SEA Games in Vietnam in May. With that, we have received more support from the SAT and also the National Sports Development Fund to continue our work in developing our athletes and management to meet international standards."

With 12 gold medals at stake at the SEA Games in Vietnam, Thailand took home two gold, four silver and six bronze medals while the hosts bagged five gold medals.

SAT governor Gongsak Yodmani said kickboxing is well recognised and gaining more popularity throughout the world.

"We have given our full support for the association to host the competition so that they can recruit more fine athletes to represent the country," he said.

Muay Thai superstar Buakaw Banchamek, who managed the Thai team which won two kickboxing gold medals in Vietnam, said that despite being popular among the Thais, kickboxing is quite new to them in terms of rules and judging.

The Thailand Kickboxing Championship 2022 will not only support the sport in general but also give an opportunity for parties involved to learn about its rules and other important issues, said Buakaw, who is also a board member of the Kickboxing Association of Thailand.

Kickboxing is now a discipline at many international sporting events including the SEA Games, World Games and World Combat Games as well as the sixth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand next year.

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