It is official! The first IFMA Virtual World Championships started as the opening ceremony took place. The host of the ceremony Ms. Ravi Dent opened the ceremony by welcoming all the athletes, coaches, referees, and viewers around the world to witness this historical event.
The flag parade of IFMA, the Continental Federations, and organisations of which Muaythai is proud to be part were marched to the virtual arena with a limitless number of seats as spectators all around the world tuned in from their living rooms to watch the ceremony.
IFMA Athletes’ Commission Chair Ms. Janice Lyn took to the floor wishing all of the athletes the best of luck and hoped they enjoy this historic event. Muaythai Connects.
This event would not be possible without support from the competition sponsors with the UAE Muaythai Federation and MTGlobal Fighting Gear putting their hands together to ensure that the competition makes the history books as a one of a kind event.
The highlight video of the project between IFMA and UNESCO was followed by Ms. Lyn’s speech again reminding us of how much the youth mean for IFMA as every day Muaythai reaches refugee camps, youth centres, hospitals and unprivileged areas to showcase the example of the world champions who built their careers and lives through Muaythai.
The IFMA Secretary General was the following speaker to welcome the guests in different languages as the event reached the utmost regions of the world. Mr. Fox stated that regardless of the pandemic, IFMA found a way to support its athletes and give hope for a better tomorrow with only an internet connection required to be part of this international Muaythai event. Muaythai Connects.
The driving force behind the Virtual Championships and IFMA Director Ms. Charissa Tynan continued the programme by stating that so many inspirational entries have been submitted in all four divisions: Shadow Box, Wai Kru, Max Fit and Aero Fit. For the Max Fit and Aero Fit the journey will continue with the UTS Virtual Sports Festival offering the youth an event under the patronage of the IOC.
The traditional oath from the Referees, Athletes and Coaches from different continents was sworn and it was the first time in IFMA history that not one but several athletes and officials representing different continents were given this honour.
IFMA Vice President, General Udomdej Sitabutr took to the floor stating that this event has already proved to be successful as more than 30,000 people took part in the qualification rounds towards the event. An unprecedented number for any Muaythai event.
General Udomdej then officially declared the IFMA Virtual World Muaythai Championships 2020 open.
The viewers throughout the world stood for the official muaythai anthem which was played over the world in unison in each home where Muaythai athletes were preparing to step in the virtual arena for their first competition.
The athletes walked behind their flags in the virtual flag parade. The IFMA initiative was welcomed as a needed opportunity for the athletes in lockdown as many competitions have been cancelled. The Wai Kru competition has started already and today Shadow Box and Max Fit will also start, then tomorrow the Aero Fit competition will begin.
The winners of the Max Fit and Aero Fit will transition to the UTS Virtual World Festival under the patronage of IOC.