Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha was delighted with the inclusion of Muay Thai, or Thai-style boxing, in the 2023 European Games, to be held in the city of Krakow, Poland.
The European Olympic Committees (EOC) had announced that Muay Thai would be among the sports to feature at the 2023 European Games. The EOC also cited Muay Thai as one of the fastest-growing combat sports in the world, in terms of athletes and spectators.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting on 2 March 2021, the Prime Minister explained that the competition format for Muay Thai in the Games would feature seven male and seven female divisions plus two mixed-gender team events.
He assigned the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to work in an integrated manner with other relevant agencies to promote the potential of Thailand’s sports activities, so that they would be better known worldwide. Moreover, he said, efforts should be made to push for the inclusion of Muay Thai in future Olympic Games, as Muay Thai is now very popular in foreign countries.
Muay Thai is different from Western boxing in the diversity of offensive and defensive blows, thus making the art more taxing and challenging for the boxers. A great number of foreigners are interested in Muay Thai contests, and many of them have also attended Muay Thai training.
Muay Thai is taught in many countries, which have introduced it as a sport. It is also considered part of the identity of Thailand in terms of both sport and tourism.
The Thai government has established a policy to promote, preserve, and develop this martial art and hopes that it will become a competitive sport in the Olympic Games and will make Thai culture and traditions better known among foreigners.
Source: Thai PRD