Thailand hosts kickboxing championship

Thailand hosts kickboxing championship

Buakaw Banchamek, centre, opens the Thailand Kickboxing Championship on Saturday.
Buakaw Banchamek, centre, opens the Thailand Kickboxing Championship on Saturday.

Thailand is hosting the inaugural Thailand Kickboxing Championship as a warm-up event for the Asian Kickboxing Championship.

The first edition of the tournament, which is taking place at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok from Oct 29-30, is aimed at promoting the sport and also recruiting athletes for the Thai national team. 

The competition is divided into three categories for 13-15-year-old, 16-18-year-old and 19-40-year-old competitors. Importantly, it will be conducted based on the rules of the World Association of Kickboxing Organization (WAKO).

Tira Buyanee Kittikorn, from the Kickboxing Association of Thailand, said that it is the first time for the association to host the event, which uses the WAKO rules. 

Nassiri Nassiri, president of the Asian Kickboxing Confederation (WAKO Asia), is monitoring the competition closely.

“The Kickboxing Association of Thailand is committed and ready to host the event as best as we can. We will do our best and make everything meet international standards,” Tira said.

“We also want to use the tournament to recruit athletes for the national team. Also, it is a great opportunity for us to learn new rules and get experience about organizing such an event before we host the Asian Kickboxing Championship in December.”

Muay Thai superstar Buakaw Banchamek, who managed the Thai team which won two kickboxing gold medals at the SEA Games in Vietnam this year, said that the Thailand Kickboxing Championship 2022 will both support the sport in general and give an opportunity for involved parties to learn about its rules and other important issues, which will be a key to develop the sport in the future.

“Our goal is not only to get more fighters for the national team but also to promote the sport as well as to give involved parties an opportunity to learn new things about kickboxing,” he said.

The tournament, mainly supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), 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. 

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

The other titles went to the Philippines (2), Indonesia (2) and Cambodia (1).

Kickboxing is now a discipline at many international sporting events including the SEA Games, World Games and World Combat Games as well as the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in Thailand next year.

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