Aussie Female Muaythai Youth Collect 9 Medals at IFMA 2016 World Championships
Australian junior muaythai team at National Stadium, Bangkok, at the close of the 2016 IFMA youth world championships in Bangkok, Thailand / Pic: Supplied

Female muaythai youth athletes return home from Thailand flying the Australian flag high with a range of medals.

It is remarkable to see so many athletes, from various backgrounds, able to communicate with each other through sport. While there is rivalry between countries, Muaythai is the common link between us.

The National Stadium of Thailand in Bangkok had feet from all walks of life, as aspiring youth take to the world stage in aim of claiming the gold medal. While many young athletes are not able to verbally communicate with other teams or their opponents, sportsmanship and fair play are evident at the 2016 IFMA Muaythai Youth World Championships that were held from August 24 to September 1.

You speak Russian, I speak English, and we speak Muaythai.

At the conclusion of the competition the ‘Australian Team Supporter’ award was presented to Emily Curtain who had to withdraw from the competition due to injury. Day in and day out she cheered loudly from the crowed and assisted her team mates where ever she could. Prior to the Championships commencing Emily said she would concentrate on being the best support she could be for her brother and sister. In addition, Sophie Curtain received ‘The Australian Female Boxer’ award.

Team Australia consisting of 32 athletes won a total of 20 medals – five gold, eight silver and seven bronze. Particularly female youth collected three gold, four silver and two bronze medals. In addition Australia earned the ‘Fair Play’ award.

Gold Medallists

Zoe Putorak (67 kg, 16-17 year division) defeats Saai Cansu (Turkey)
Saskia Vaughn (63.5 kg, 16-17 year division) defeats Sahin Gizem (Turkey)
Sophie Curtain (54kg, 14-15 year division) defeats Anna Knacheiryan (Kazakhstan)

Silver Medallists

Suzie Halabi (42 kg, 12-13 year division) loses to Pesatcha Thimaporn (Thailand)
Brook Cooper (60kg, 16-17 year division) loses to Viktorija Ivanets (Ukraine)
Josephine Rossallen (36 kg, 10-11 year division) loses to Pradipha Tanukit (Thailand)
Britney Dolheyguy, (51 kg, 16-17 year division) loses to Apasara Koson (Thailand)

Bronze Medallist

Shannon Gardiner (57kg, 14-15 year division) loses to Georgina Van D Linden (Netherlands)
Kira Vanderkley (51kg, 14-15 year division) loses to Rebekah Irwin (USA)

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Yolanda Schmidt
Yolanda Schmidt, from Sydney, NSW is the Australian national champion in Muay Thai. In addition, she is a two-time bronze medalist at IFMA world championships. She is also a teacher at Menai High School in Illawong, NSW. Schmidt is a regular contributor to FIGHTMAG, where she covers women's kickboxing and Muay Thai.

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