Sri Lanka-born, 16-year-old Navindra Fernando, a student of Melbourne Secondary School, won the Muaythai National Championship in Australia, at the 2019 Australian Muaythai National Championship held in the Gold Coast.
This is the first time a schoolboy had won a national title.
In the preliminary games held in Canberra and Queensland, Fernando remained unbeaten, easily overcoming the experienced Aussie opponents.
In the finals, Navindra took little time in emerging winner as he knocked out his opponent, implementing a strategy he planned, which the opponent failed to read.
"This is a result of hard training and correct application to the game. Every day, soon after returning from school, I rush to the club and start with a 5-km run. This game needs lot of energy and stamina along with speed and reach," said Fernando, speaking from his home in Melbourne.
Muaythai Boxing is a combat sport of Thailand that is gaining popularity in Australia. It uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques, and is known as the ‘Art of 8 limbs’, as it is characterised by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.
Muaythai Boxing spread worldwide in the 20th century.
The professional league is governed by the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (PAT) and World Professional Muaythai Federation (WMF) overseas.
It is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is also included in the World Games.
A member of the Morakot Muaythai Gym Club in Melbourne, this youngster showed extraordinary talents in the game in the early stages.
Exhibiting a high quality technique in the game, young Fernando caught the eye of the coaches and administrators of the game in Melbourne.
When he first joined the club, he had to undergo a series of meditation classes, after which he was selected to undergo training.
His total commitment and dedication to the sport, brought him under the wings of a trainer brought down specially from Thailand for the event.
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