GAME FIGHTERS: Gym mates (from left) Taleitha Waddups, Hannah Bradicich and Melissa Anderson have made the Australian Muay Thai team.
GAME FIGHTERS: Gym mates (from left) Taleitha Waddups, Hannah Bradicich and Melissa Anderson have made the Australian Muay Thai team. Brett Wortman

Melissa’s art classes take her to Malaysia

BUDERIM fighter Melissa Anderson's career continues to soar, with the kickboxer selected to represent Australia at the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur World Games in Malaysia in May.

Mrs Anderson will be joined in Malaysia by two juniors from her gym, Taleitha Waddups, 12, of Kawana, and Hannah Bradicich, 12, of Dicky Beach.

"It's great to see so many girls getting involved and performing so well in a sport that is very physical and is usually dominated by men," Mrs Anderson said.

"We have more and more ladies coming in learning the art. It's great to see the numbers increasing."

Mrs Anderson was named on the Australian team in the lightweight (60-63.5kg) class.

Mrs Anderson is ranked No.1 in Australia and that put her in a good position to be selected for the event, avoiding a fight-off.

"It's good for my career because I get to go out in the world and see who's out there for me to take on down the track," she said.

Mrs Anderson had almost a year off fighting due to surgery on a nerve in her left elbow, and returned to the ring only in mid-February when she scored a strong win against taller opponent Claire Baxter.

"It was the best I ever fought, the fittest I'd ever been. I fought really, really well," Mrs Anderson said.

The 30-year-old beat a strong field of contenders to be named best female up-and-comer at the Australian Muay Thai Awards at the Gold Coast in early December.

The Malaysia games trip attracts no funding, so the trio is looking to raise about $10,000 to help them get to the event.

"We are looking for sponsors and holding sausage sizzles and so on to raise money to go across," Mrs Anderson said.

Male fighters Brodie Stalder (51-54kg) and Will Brown (juniors) were also selected. Holly Espray (juniors) also made the team, but won't be attending.

If anyone wishes to make a donation, contact Sunshine Coast Thai Boxing Centre on 5493 1058.

 

Muay Thai rules

  •  Eight "weapons" - hands, feet, knees, elbows.
  •  Amateurs wear protective guards on shins, elbow, torso and head.
  •  The winners in Malaysia will fight up to seven bouts
  •  Preliminary bouts: 3x2-minute rounds.
  • Finals: 4x2-minute rounds.

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