Reports reaching eyeonthesports.com from the AIPS say St. Petersburg is to host the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games, a tournament consisting of 14 combat sports including one of the newest styles, kickboxing, run under rules of the WAKO federation, World Association of Kickboxing Organisation.
96 competitors from all continents will compete to be crowned number one in the ultimate arena. Qualifications took place over the last two years to find these world class athletes.
The three styles involved in kickboxing, each with four weight categories of eight fighters, are full contact, low kick and point fighting.
Full contact and low kick are similar to boxing as it is performed in a ring and each athlete has to punch or kick their way to victory either through a knockout, where a fighter who has been knocked down cannot recover enough to fight on within a 10 second count by the referee, or by a points decision decided by three judges sitting ringside.
The difference between full contact and low kick is the ability to kick below the waist in low kick, a technique forbidden in full contact. Point fighting is performed on a tatami, a matted area 8×8 meters.
In point fighting the idea is to hit your opponent before they can hit you. It is judged by a center referee and two judges, all of whom move freely around the ring to keep the best view of the fight. When a judge sees a fighter land a technique, they immediately signal by raising their hand to the side they deemed to have scored. If two or more judges agree, then a point is awarded.
The winner is the athlete who has the most points accumulated at the end of three by two-minute rounds, or if they can achieve a 10-point margin before that time. The athletes for each division had four Europeans, two Asians, one African and one from Pan-America.
Ireland is the only country to have had a fighter qualify in every division of the point fighting style, two of them retuning to their second combat games after having represented their country three years ago in China at the first edition.
Mark Mcdermott, current European silver medalist made it to the medals last time round and is looking to take it a step further this time round, while Robbie McMenamy, current European champion and multiple-time world champion, is the only kickboxer to defend his title as Sportaccord Combat Games champion.
Some names to watch out for in kickboxing are the above mentioned Robbie McMenamy in the -84kg division, Mark McDermott in the -74kg division. Tonje Sorlie from Norway, current -56kg full contact world champion. Laszlo Gombos from Hungary the current -74kg point fighting world champion. Richard Veres also from Hungary and the same club, the world famous Kirally team, is the current -63kg point fighting world champion. Chelsey Nash from Canada is the current -60kg point fighting world champion, who could up against Shauna Bannon of Ireland who won the Open weight category of the Irish Open 2013, the biggest open tournament in the world of kickboxing.
Fighting starts on the 21st with the quarter finals, semis on the 23rd and finishing up on the 25th with the finals and awards ceremony.