Muay Thai champion Svetlana Vinnikova nominated for IWGA Athlete of the Year
Muay Thai champion Svetlana Vinnikova nominated for IWGA Athlete of the Year 2018 / Pic: IFMA

Muay Thai fighter in poll for IWGA Athlete of the Year

Multiple Muay Thai World Champion from Russia Svetlana Vinnikova has been nominated for the “Athlete of the Year 2018”, held by International World Games Association (IWGA). The annual competition celebrates the best athletes in sports which are part of The World Games. It gets bigger every year, with 25 sports including Amateur Muay Thai, governed by IFMA, competing for the title this year.

The World Games committee chooses the athletes based on performance and how athletes make a difference to their sport.

For 2018 they picked Svetlana Vinnikova from Russia as the Muay Thai entrant. She is a two-time IFMA World Champion at 63.5 kg, and also holds gold at 60 kg from The World Games 2017. She was named Female Martial Artist of the Year in Russia last year, the Golden Belt Award. In addition, Vinnikova is a muaythai coach, working only with women.

“Muay Thai is a huge part of my life, I can’t imagine myself without it,” says IWGA Athlete of the Year 2018 nominee Svetlana Vinnikova. “My twin sister also competes, and we are so lucky to have this sport together.”

“Muay Thai is a sport where you are always improving, educating and progressing in your understanding. Because of that I’m always motivated to rise above myself, that’s very important for any athlete.”

“I know I’m a role model for many athletes, especially young athletes. That gives me energy and motivates me even more. If I can help just one girl become a stronger and better version of herself, then I am happy.”

The voting and a complete list of nominees for the IWGA Athlete of the Year 2018 is available on the official website of The World Games. Muay Thai devotees across the world are encouraged to show their support by voting for the representative of the “Art of Eight Limbs” in order to earn a prestigious award.