Muay Thai IFMA youth world championships 2016 witness many young female athletes making their mark on the world stage.
32 athletes represent Australia in Bangkok, Thailand from August 24 to September 1. There are 14 female fighters on the team that stand for the Gold and Green colors.
Thus far Australian youth athletes have shown the world their skill and not their gender. Three won by the way of stoppage in their first bouts. They had their supporters on the feet after landing some damaging knees.
Kira Vanderkley (51 kg, 14-15 year division) stopped Thai Sladkhunthod Suphaporn in the second round. Shannon Gardiner (57 kg, 14-15 year division) sent Poland’s Maznio Wiktoria packing also in round two. Brooke Cooper (60 kg, 16-17 year division) showed the first round domination over Abied Ayisha from New Zealand. In addition Britney Dolheyguy (51 kg, 16-17 year division) took a decision over Ekaterina Sokolova from Russia.
Alexia Johnson (48 kg, 16-17 year division) and Taleah Delfs (54 kg, 16-17 year division) lost their first bouts against Vietnamese Cao Thi Ly and Quach Thi Hoai. Similarly Madelaine Duiker (57kg, 16-17 year division) faced a defeat from Valeria Cardoza of Team USA.
A very excited Brooke Cooper reiterates the latter
When asked about the reactions she has about her chosen sport, Cooper reveals that it is thanks to various successful female fighters that her choice is not deemed as such an abnormality.
“Respect from society, thanks to these big named female fighters has also increased for females in the sport,” she says. Cooper also thanks her gym, that she describes as family, her mum and uncle.
The win over New Zealand has been the confidence boost required as she moved onto the semi-final against Russia’s Viktoriia Kuvikina. The Australian ended the bout in the second round and advanced to the final.
“I was amazed at the increase in female competitors at this year,”
“Last year I was the only girl in my weight division, now I’m actually able to compete.”
For the gold medal Cooper is going up against Viktorija Ivanets from Ukraine on Wednesday, August 31.