Svetlana Vinnikova has been named as the World Games Athlete of May ©The World Games

Russia's Svetlana Vinnikova has been named as the World Games Athlete of May in recognition of her achievements in muaythai.

Vinnikova was crowned as world champion in May, adding to her European title in the women's 63 kilogram competition.

The Russian athlete triumphed at the World Games in 2017, despite having to compete in the lower 60kg weight division.

"This is the perfect result of all the hard work put in by me and my coach," Vinnikova said.

"The award motivates me to become even better and stronger.

"Muaythai is true art and the best thing about muaythai is that it's hard to be in it, to train, to compete, to work-out, to try and to succeed, to rise above myself.

"I hate things that are easy and simple."

Vinnikova has been praised for being a fierce advocate for women in sport in Russia and works with Reebok RU to promote women's training sessions and fitness tips.

She also runs women-only training sessions in Moscow.

"Svetlana won at The World Games in the first year that muaythai athletes have had this opportunity, and as the first to win gold, she will be an inspiration for generations of young athletes in Russia," said Stephan Fox, the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur secretary general.

"She is already teaching women-only classes in Moscow, and no doubt we will see future stars shining in the ring because of her example."