Two highly competitive and busy days of competition at the GAMMA U18 World Championships which included almost 200 bouts concluded yesterday in the Greek city of Alexandropoulis. 13 of the 15 participating nations are returning home with some silverware, showing the significant depth of young talent across the globe.
The Ukrainian delegation finished top of the medals table with 10 gold medals and 24 in total, closely followed by the USA with 9 gold medals and 20 in total and Kazakhstan rounding out the top three with 5 gold and 17 in total. Hosts Greece were the best of the rest with 2 gold medals and 18 in total.
Greece has a long and proud tradition of combat sports and for those that were watching the event, they were treated to some fantastic action from the next generation of combat stars who were leaving their own marks on the history of the sport.
All the athletes competed with honour, dignity, and respect and while not everyone could be a winner, there was a full range of emotions on display and plenty of passion coming from supporters and team mates alike for every bout that took place on the tatami mats for the youngsters and the ring for those aged 14 and above.
“Youth Championships are something unique in any sport, they bring together athletes that may never have competed internationally before and that brings new challenges but also new experiences which is an integral part of the pathway of young athletes. The competition was very competitive, but what I was very pleased to see was the spirit of the competition, the atmosphere, and the friendliness of everyone towards each other. This may be a combat sport, but it is a great community of people who all respect each other and have the same goal of seeing the sport of MMA continually develop. I want to thank the organisers and for everyone who was able to travel to Greece for this event.” Said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt.