On May 5 2023, the Muaythai World Championships qualifying tournament started in Bangkok with over 2,000 athletes competing. On the final day of the World Championships, the best 48 athletes will qualify for the 2023 World Combat Games (WCG).
The WCG will welcome elite athletes from 16 Olympic and Non-Olympic combat sports and martial arts, who are coming together for the first-ever, all-inclusive multi-sport games. The WCG offers a unique opportunity to shine the spotlight on the world of martial arts and inspire individuals and youth towards a healthy and active lifestyle.
The unique format of this 9-day event will be held in the King Saud University and will see world-class facilities, that will be an extraordinary experience for the athletes and fans.
Many plans are in development for other features to expand the WGC, such as the first ever masterships programme giving an opportunity for leading martial artists to instruct martial art enthusiasts from all abilities, whilst the best compete for leading glory. The cultural pavilion will follow the ancient history and traditions of the combat sports and will host daily performances. The martial art festival will host daily activities and demonstrations.
Finally, a fan zone will bring athletes and spectators together for a vibrant, fun experience.
The WCG will be delivered with the dedicated cooperation of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sports Ministry and SportAccord.
Muaythai has been part of all previous editions of the WCG and will participate across 22 weight categories including the traditional forms of Wai Kru and Mai Muay along with the newly established ParaS division.
Over 70 representatives from the embassies including the host country joined for the official opening ceremony of the Muaythai World Championships. Muaythai secretary general and WCG chairman, Mr. Stephan Fox acknowledged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with special thanks to HRH, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for his 2030 vision which is at the heart of the WCG. Mr. Fox thanked the president of the Olympic and Paralympic Committees, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki al Faisal al Saud for his commitment to ensure an all-inclusive sporting event.
President of International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan announced, “IFMA and Muaythai give their thanks, Saudi Arabia, here we come!”
The president of SportAccord, Ivo Ferriani said, “Good luck to all the athletes competing. May you all have a wonderful experience in the Kingdom of Thailand. I also applaud IFMA for including a large refugee team, sending a message of hope and solidarity to the world”.
The stage is now set for the top athletes to book their final places at the 2023 WCG.