January 4, 2024
BANGKOK – Muay Thai’s triumphant journey extends beyond its status as a competitive sport, cultural art form, and an officially recognised discipline by the International Olympic Committee.
It has now achieved a groundbreaking nomination as the first martial art to be considered for an International Emmy Award, specifically for its reality TV series, “The Challenger Muay Thai.”
Captivating over 400 million viewers worldwide, the show showcased the dreams, hopes, and sacrifices of athletes hailing from all five continents striving to attain the esteemed title of The Challenger Champion. The 2022 season, filmed in Malaysia, marked a historic moment by embracing full gender equality. Male and female athletes lived and trained together, facing challenges in each episode that determined the fate of the Muay Thai warriors.
The season’s culmination featured a spectacular final battle between the male and female finalists, highlighting their prowess and determining the most deserving warrior of The Challenger Battleground. The show’s commitment to gender equality was further underscored in the final episode, where both male and female finalists received equal prize money.
Originally produced in collaboration with Dream Works and currently partnered with Imagine TV, The Challenger Muay Thai is co-organized by the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA) and the World Muaythai Council (WMC). The show delves into the authentic stories of the 12 athletes, shedding light on their hardships, sacrifices, and Muaythai journeys, contributing to its global popularity.
Adding to its list of accolades, The Challenger Battleground has received a nomination for the 2022 edition of the Asian TV Awards. Charissa Tynan, the Director General of IFMA, expressed gratitude to the government of Malaysia, the Malaysian Muaythai Federation, Imagine TV, the National Sports Development Fund of Thailand, and, notably, the athletes who served as true ambassadors of Muay Thai.
In her remarks, Tynan emphasized the unique position Muay Thai holds in the sporting world. She highlighted its recognition by the International Olympic Committee, Olympic Council of Asia, European Olympic Committee, participation in numerous Olympic-recognized multi-sport games, engagement of over 3000 youth annually at the Youth World Championships, hosting of more than 1000 professional events each year, and inclusivity across various disciplines, including combat, Mai Muay, Wai Kru, Para, Special, and all recognised IOC disciplines. “This is the art, beauty, and strength of Muaythai,” she declared.