Muay Thai champion Svetlana Vinnikova places fourth at IWGA Athlete of the Year
Muay Thai champion Svetlana Vinnikova at The World Games 2017 Wroclaw / Pic: IFMA

Russian gymnasts Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia become IWGA Athletes of the Year 2018

Muay Thai champion Svetlana Vinnikova from Russia represented “The Art of Eight Limbs” in the poll for IWGA Athlete of the Year 2018 held in January. The roster included 25 sports in total with fans across the world voting for their favorites.

The results have been announced early this month naming the new IWGA Athletes of the Year, Russian Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia from Gymnastics, who earned 159,348 votes. The second spot was taken by American Jennifer Thompson from Powerlifting taking 152,865 votes. Representing Kickboxing, Ukrainian Orfan Sananzade received 63,320 votes placing third.

20,657 votes went for Svetlana Vinnikova which is the fourth string in the table. “This is a huge achievement as it’s the highest number of votes recorded for Muay Thai in this contest,” International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) reported.

“Sadly we had had to contend with computer hackers who at one point added fake votes to the Muay Thai vote. Thankfully this was spotted by the IWGA IT team and they reported to the IFMA head office on this. The IWGA team wrote: ‘We have discovered an internet bot voting for Muay Thai. We have taken the decision to remove the votes cast by the bot and allow Svetlana to continue in the race with the real votes.'”

The resume of Svetlana Vinnikova includes two Gold medals at IFMA World Championships (2017-2018) at 63.5 kg weight class and the first place on the pedestal at The World Games 2017 at 60 kg. In addition, she is a two-time European champion and Female Martial Artist of the Year 2018 in Russia.

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