By Michelle Rowe-Jardine

The fourth annual Muaythai Canada National Championship returned on Nov. 9-10 in its largest tournament to date.

The tournament, held at the Markham Panham Centre again this year, drew more than 1,088 spectators over the two-day competition as 234 athletes fought for their spots on the podium, and an opportunity to be selected for the national team. Kicking off with stellar opening ceremonies that included a Wai Kru  from Rafael Arteaga of York Muay Thai, a Muay Boran demonstration from siblings Savannah & Riley Foden and a gorgeous performance from Toronto-based Thai dramatic arts troupe Tdot Tdat, the first day was jam-packed with nonstop action as 94 bouts thundered across two rings.

Thai dramatic arts troupe Tdot Tdat performs during the opening ceremonies on Nov. 9, 2019. Photo: Paul McLean

With another 70 bouts on Sunday, the number of registered athletes has nearly doubled since Nationals began in 2016, as gyms from as far east as St. John’s, N.L., all the way to Cranbrook, B.C.,  brought their finest nak muay to Markham, Ont. for a shot at the gold.

Nationals saw some familiar faces as returning champs came to clinch yet another medal, such as New Era Combat Sports’ Taylor McClatchie in the 57 kg division.

Taylor McClatchie, right, secures yet another victory at Muay Thai Canada’s 2019 national championships in Markham, Ont. on Nov. 10.
Photo: Kien Tran

And youth involvement was strong again this year, with youth divisional bouts representing roughly 38 per cent of all registered athletes in the tournament.

At the end of Sunday, 70 nak muay ascended the podium to receive their gold medals, and special awards were presented to notable athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.

Martha Lopez of Apex Muay Thai, Que., centre, received the award for athlete excellence. Photo: Kien Tran

Full list of award recipients:

Wai Kru Excellence – (Male) Gregory Gauvin, Siam No. 1, Quebec
(Female) Laura Barager, Loyalist Martial Arts, Ontario
(Youth) Tiago Scarfone, MAS Thai Boxing, Ontario

Athlete Excellence: (Male) Daniel Sopa, TKO Fighting Arts, Ontario
(Female) Martha Lopez, Apex Muay Thai, Quebec
(Youth) Emily Vigneault, Mike Miles Muay Thai, Alberta

Technical Official Excellence: Kru Laura Vuculescu, Black Tigers Gym, Ontario

Sportsmanship Excellence: Kru James Richard, 8 Limbs Muay Thai, Newfoundland & Labrador

Volunteer Excellence: Maryam Girgis, Krudar, Ontario

© Muaythai Canada
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