December the 6th marks one year since Muaythai and IFMA were granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee. Not a federation to rest on its laurels, it’s been a busy year for IFMA with many goals set and achieved. Let’s take a look at some of IFMA’s major achievements since its recognition.
One of the first markers for Muaythai’s popularity following IOC recognition was the exciting voting race for Sofia Olofsson for IWGA Athlete of the Year. Polls opened in January and Sofia was a runaway winner for the title in February.
It was also a great year for female development, especially in Afghanistan and Iran where the sport has grown exponentially in the asper of gender equality and we now see full and competitive female teams at all major IFMA events.
IFMA’s first World Championships post-recognition was held in the beautiful city of Minsk, Belarus which hosted a world class event, with the IFMA Athletes’ conference hosted at the impressive National Olympic Committee headquarters. The event saw some great competitions and the introduction of the common warm-up and athletes seating areas in the arena which made for some great atmosphere and inter-cultural bonding between teams.
Other major achievements were for the many member National Federations that achieved full recognition from their NOC or Sport Ministry like Canada, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Armenia to name a few.
The 2017 Youth World Championships were also a major milestone as the first as an IOC recognised federation, which meant massive teams and a successful Youth conference which was attended by ARISF President Raffaele Chiulli who lauded the event and the many initiatives undertaken by IFMA towards development of the youth and education.