Sri Lankan Gevin Linden won the World Championship and three of his fellow fighters from won medals at the World Muay Thai Championship 2022 organised by the International Muay Thai Organisation held in Jawa Barat, Indonesia from 8th to 11th December 2022. The event which consisted of Pro and Semi-Pro
categories witnessed the participation of fighters from many countries.
22-year-old Gevin Linden won the World Championship in the 81kg weight in the Professional category beating his Indian opponent. Coached by Vimukthi Abeynayake of Vanquish Muay Thai and Fitness in Colombo, Gevin is the current WBC Sri Lanka Heavyweight Champion for 2022. 20-year-old Achintha Rukshan won the Silver Medal in the 86kg-90kg weight in the Professional category while Omidu Methwin Karunathilake (age 11) won the Gold Medal in the 10-13 year age group and 30kg-33kg weight Semi-Pro category beating his Indonesian opponent. Additionally, Methuka Sasilu Gnanaratne (age 7) won the Silver Medal in the 28kg weight Semi-Pro category and also made history in the process as the youngest fighter to participate in an international Muay Thai tournament from Sri Lanka. All three fighters are coached by Coach Chamila Nishantha and are from the Lion Power Muay Thai Gym Kurunegala
Coach Vimukthi Abeynayake, who is certified under the National Muay Thai Association of Sri Lanka and the Muay Thai Academy of America, started the striking arts gym Vanquish Muay Thai and Fitness in 2020
following a long and illustrious coaching career which commenced during his school days. Since inception, the gym has already created two WBC Muay Thai Sri Lanka champions and one IMO Muay Thai World Champion. Sharing his thoughts on this grand achievement, Coach Abeynayake stated, “It gives me great pride to have been part of the successful journey of Gevin Linden who has brought great honour and glory to Sri Lanka through the discipline of Muay Thai by winning a world title representing Sri Lanka. The future of any country is their younger generation and their biggest wealth is their health. I strongly believe in the quote ‘Strong body, strong mind’ and what great way it is to achieve this than by learning a practical martial art such as Muay Thai which builds a strong body and sharpens the practitioner’s mind. I was a backward, unhealthy, and obese kid who found my way to who I am today through martial arts. I strongly believe in the discipline and values of Respect, Honour and Tradition, even when in the ring facing an opponent.”
The World Boxing Council Muay Thai Sri Lanka (WBC Muay Thai Sri Lanka) has commenced several initiatives to strengthen the image and popularity of Muay Thai in Sri Lanka and is in the process of further establishing the sport in the country. WBC Muay Thai Sri Lanka was initiated by Miran Nilangana, a former professional fighter in multiple martial arts disciplines and lifelong martial artist with special interest in Muay Thai. WBC Muay Thai Sri Lanka has opened up a gateway for amateur fighters to enter the professional circuit and pursue a career in the sport.
Muay Thai has its roots in Thailand and comes from the ancient martial art of Muay Boran in Thailand where practitioners used it to neutralise or kill opponents during war when they lost their weapons. It is the national sport of Thailand and was initially taught to the King’s Guards. It stands out from other martial arts as it uses eight limbs – fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Most other striking arts do not include grappling in it whereas Muay Thai includes multiple clinching techniques to neutralise the opponent. Muay Thai was introduced in Sri Lanka in the early 2000’s.