Seven European nations entered the 16th World Pencak Silat Championships, earlier this year, pitching 23 of their finest fighters and artistic performers against competitors from South East Asia, Central Asia, & across the World.
Organisers & Hosts:
Pencak Silat Association of Thailand (PSAT)
Sanctioned by International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT)
EPSF Board Delegation:
Mr Aidinal Alrashid: EPSF President
Sue Gault: EPSF Secretary General
Karin Langle, EPSF Treasurer
From the Member countries of EPSF at the Championships: Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, The United Kingdom & Ukraine, The Netherlands took the lion’s share of medals for the European competitors, with a total of five Bronze Medals.
France also won Bronze in male Tanding class B, while The United Kingdom won one of the few Silver medals ever achieved in the World Championships, in male Tanding Open class.
The Championships began with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, attended by the President of PERSILAT, Mr Prabowo Subianto, the Governor of Phuket, Mr Nisit Jansomwong, & the Minister of Sports & Tourism, Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who officially opened the Championships. Other local dignitaries & the Presidents of the National Pencak Silat Federations taking part also attended.
Before the final day of competitions, the World Pencak Silat Congress took place at the Royal Phuket City Hotel. The Congress meeting, chaired by Mr Prabowo Subianto, was attended by representatives from all member countries of PERSILAT present at the Championships. The Secretary General of PERSILAT, Mr Teddy Suratmadji gave a presentation on developments since the 2010 World Congress meeting.
Mr Aidinal Alrashid, President of the EPSF, reported on developments within Europe; in 2012, there were 12 member countries, & there were now 14, after Ukraine & Slovakia had joined. This was expected to grow to 17 member countries in 2015. Before the 2013 European Championships in Valleiry, France, 14 Wasit Juri candidates qualified as International Level III on the PERSILAT endorsed Upgrading course. In September 2014, the EPSF organised a flagship National Level Wasit Juri course, conducted by PERSILAT, with 8 candidates qualifying at National level. The EPSF was working with PERSILAT & the Turkish National Pencak Silat Association to organise a European Open Championships, to be held in Istanbul in 2016.
Mr Sheik Alau’ddin Yacoob Marican, President of the Asian Pencak Regional Federation presented on progress within the Asian Region, & Presidents & representatives from European members of PERSILAT each reported on progress & developments within their countries.
Medals were awarded following the Tanding competition Finals. Medal winners from members of the EPSF were:
Silver : Samir Ghanim, Pencak Silat Federation UK: Tanding Male Class Open
Bronze : Lesley Weessies, Nederlandse Pencak Silat Bond: Tanding Female Class F
Dang Nguyen, Nederlandse Pencak Silat Bond: Tanding Male Class E:
Jaroen Oostema, Nederlandse Pencak Silat Bond: Tanding, Male Class F
Remi Grooten, Nederlandse Pencak Silat Bond: Tanding, Male Class I
Fernando Felix, Nederlandse Pencak Silat Bond: Tanding, Male Class Open
Hamid Bourkiza, Association Pencak Silat France, Tanding Male Class B
A spectacular Closing Ceremony began with Silat demonstrations by members of PSAT. In his closing speech, PERSILAT President Mr Prabowo Subianto congratulated the President of PSAT, Mr Panu Uthariat, & declared that these Championships had been the largest yet, with 37 countries taking part. He declared that the next target for Pencak Silat was to be in the Asian Games in 2018, & that PERSILAT were working very hard for Pencak Silat to be included in the Olympics in 2022.
There was a great cheer from the packed auditorium for Mr Subianto’s statement that Pencak Silat was a way to promote friendship & harmony between all peoples & religions.
Attended by Acting Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, H.E. Mr Montri Chaipun, the 16th Pencak Silat World Championships were officially closed by Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the Minister of Sports & Tourism. The PERSILAT flag was handed from Mr Panu Uthariat to a representative from the Australian Embassy in Phuket, symbolising that Australia would host the next World Championships in 2017.