Muaythai athletes participating at the World Championships ©IFMA

Russia finished as the top nation at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) World Championship in Cancun after an event at which 30 countries secured medals.

The world's largest country claimed 11 gold medals overall when age group events were included and proved especially successful in the women's ranks at the Grand Oasis Hotel in the Mexican city.

Russian winners included Irina Larinova, who beat Sarah Carter of Canada in the under-75 kilograms division, and Kholmurod Rakhimov, who beat Belarus’ Mikalai Sviadomski in the men's under-54kg event.

Thailand finished second on the medals table with five gold medals, one clear of Ukraine with four.

Sweden, Belarus, Peru and China all enjoyed two victories each while Mexico, Turkey, The Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Italy, United States, Israel, Croatia and Poland all managed one.

Mexican athletes gather during the event ©IFMA
Mexican athletes gather during the event ©IFMA

IFMA general secretary and Global Association of Summer Olympic International Federations vice-president Stephan Fox claimed that this shows how "muaythai is growing and spreading across the globe".

"As well as having a record number of athletes in competition, the event also hit a number of other targets and records," the IFMA added afterwards.

"This chiefly involved the gender equality ratio among elite division male and female athletes - this is an outstanding achievement especially for a combat-sport."

An Athlete Forum also took place during the event, with "over 800 athletes taking part with many topics especially IFMA's education programme on fair play".