The European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023 will showcase the continent’s top athletes in a range of Olympic and non-Olympic sports, including archery and muaythai, the latest additions to the programme of the third edition of Europe’s leading multisport event.
Archery will be making its third straight appearance at the European Games, while Muaythai, also known as Thai Boxing, will make its European Games debut in 2023.
“The European Games give our continent’s elite athletes in popular non-Olympic sports the chance to compete at the highest level and showcase their exceptional talents to a wider audience, said Acting President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Niels Nygaard. We are excited to offer a strong mix of both with the inclusion of archery and muaythai on the 2023 programme today.”
World Archery Europe (WAE) President Mario Scarzella said he appreciated the confidence the EOC has placed in archery, in particular through the introduction of mixed-team Olympic qualification and Compound archers at the 2019 European Games in Minsk.
“As President of World Archery Europe and on behalf of the entire European archery family, I can assert that we have welcomed with great pride and satisfaction the confirmation that our sport will be part also of the 3rd edition of the European Games in 2023,” Scarzella said. “I am very much looking forward to seeing the best European archers competing in the 2023 Kraków-Małopolska European Games.”
Muaythai, a martial art whose origins date back over 1,000 years, is one of the fastest growing combat sports in the world in terms of athletes and spectators. The competition format for muaythai at the European Games has been designed with full gender parity in mind, and as such will feature seven male and seven female divisions plus two mixed-gender team events.
Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan, President of the International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA), expressed his gratitude to the EOC and Poland for placing their trust in the IFMA. He added that muaythai’s inclusion at the European Games would be a boon for the sport’s growing presence in Europe. “Muaythai is the national sport in Thailand, and Asia has been leading the sport over the past decades,” said Tapsuwan. “Europe has grown in strength, evidenced at the last two World Championships, where the overall winners were teams from Europe.”
EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi said: “We are quickly putting together the strongest and most eagerly anticipated sports programme in European Games history, one that sports fans in Europe and around the world will be keen to follow.”
The EOC Coordination Commission for the 2023 European Games, led by Chair Hasan Arat, has been working closely with a number of European Federations to finalise their participation at Kraków-Małopolska.
“Together with EOC Sports Director Peter Brüll we are in daily contact with a diverse and exciting range of sports federations regarding participation at the 2023 European Games,” said Arat. “We are very pleased with the growing interest in the Games, which bodes well for our goal of organising the best edition of the European Games yet, just a year ahead of the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”