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Live India - John Abraham & Salman Khan - Kickboxing

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Uploaded on Mar 2, 2010

Press Release:
India Kickboxing Association successfully hosted the ASIAN OPEN KICKBOXING CHAMPIONSHIP in Pune from 18th to 21st February, 2010. The Brand Ambassador for this event was Bollywood superstar John Abraham who has been closely associated with the sport.
The event was up to its mark as it has been promised by Mr. Ziauddin Khatib, the president of India Kickboxing Association.
More than 500 contenders from countries like France, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Iran, Nigeria, Nepal, Lebanon, the UAE, Afghanistan, South Africa, England, Yemen, Holland and Hong Kong participated in the tournament, the biggest contingent was from the hosts as India had over 100 kick-boxers competing. The unique tournament was a spectacular event to kick start the year 2010.
World Kickboxing President from Greece, Mr George Thoktaridis, and Asian Kickboxing President from Lebanon Mr. Walid Kassas added glitter to this event with their presence, during the four day event held at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune.
The opening ceremony on 20th Feb witnessed a host of eminent personalities and celebrities honouring the event with their presence: Mr. Ramesh Bagwe [Home Minister], Mr. Nilesh Rane [MP], Mr. Haji Ebrahim Shaikh [Member, All India Haj Committee], Mr. Ram Sevak, MLA from Amethi, and many more.
There were two teams competing with each category having a weight category. There were junior teams from age group Under-13 to 17, Under-17 to 19 and a senior team Age 19-34 category.
The winner of this high-intensity full contact sport Arenose Quiton from Hong Kong ended up a surprise loser, as Saied Eftekharian of Iran pulled off a major upset in the 72 kg bout became Asias No.1 Kickboxing Champion.
Ziauddin Khatib, a 3 times World Kickboxing Champion himself, is of the opinion that these types of events will help him achieve his goal to promote Kickboxing in India. Internationally, kickboxing is held in high regard, especially in countries like Thailand, China and Singapore, but in India, it is still in its nascent stage, says Ziauddin. However, the sport is fast catching up here, with a lot of celebrities opting for it, not only to keep fit and build stamina, but also as a form of self-defence.
We are taking amateurs to state level, and then to national and international levels. I am sure that in the next 5 years, India will be leading in the sport of Kickboxing, adds Ziauddin.
Apart from professionals, a lot of celebrities have indeed been trained by Ziauddin, and they include John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Dino Morea, Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha Basu, Diana Hayden among others.
Who supported you the maximum for organising an event of this kind, and on this scale?
A lot of people were very supportive. John Abraham was the Brand Ambassador and at Press Conference at Golds Gym, Mumbai, he announced the opening of the Championship. I have been coaching John since the last 10 years and he loves the sport for the high fitness level it offers. John always says he would like to see more and more people learning this sport, and more championships organised on an all-India level to make it popular and reachable to the masses. We have no dearth of talent in this arena and should increase awareness about the fitness and self-defence techniques associated with the sport.
Will Kickboxing be popular among young children?
Im sure it will be. Mahabali Padmashri Satpalji, Arjun Awardee, who is the President of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) recognises the importance of Kickboxing, he has put in a suggestion for Kickboxing to be included as part of the recommended games to be played in schools across the nation
Things went smoothly as per schedule and in fact, gave us an opportunity to prove them wrong. The response has been amazing. It was team work, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of so many people, all those who lend their support, those who selflessly gave their time and energy. I am sure these efforts will not go in vain, for soon we plan to host the World Cup 2011 Kickboxing Championship in India next year, and the dates will be announced in the near future.

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