(SME) Sabah Muaythai Expo– Finale Papar Edition is in the books and it was an unforgettable weekend for DSha Muayfit from Tawau as they took home the spot as overall champion for the open categories. As for the SAGA categories (15-20 yrs old), Team Karabaw Tamparuli got the top placing.

The venue of Dewan Masyarakat Papar buzzed with excitement as fighters from various weight divisions and skill levels prepared to step into the ring, each eager to test their mettle and demonstrate their prowess in the art of 8 limbs.

In total total there were participants – 217 from 21 team. Aside from combat categories, there were also Wai Kru & Maimuay categories competed.

This finale edition at Papar was hosted by Tambuakar Martial Art from Papar. This Finale is Muaythai Sabah3rd major event, for their Muaythai Expo ( Road to SAGA ) series. Early of this year in March saw them brought SME to the northern part of Sabah in the town of Kota Marudu. 5 months later in August, SME was in the east coast of Sabah in Tawau. 

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Although many of the participants for SME Finale Papar are young, the crowd witnessed an impressive display of athleticism, technique, and sheer determination. Fighters engaged in exhilarating battles, combining lightning-fast strikes, devastating kicks, and strong clinches.

Muaythai Sabah also uses this opportunity to hi-light Muaythai heritage and arts through the introduction of Wai kru and Maimuay categories.

Participants for Wai Kru & Maimuay

DSha Muayfit lead by Sharon Andrea brought 29 athletes to participate & as the overall champion took home 9 Gold, 7 Silver & 9 Bronze. Follow by 2nd place – Team Tambuakar Martial Arts Papar, and  3rd- Team Revolution Combat Muaythai Gym.

Overall Champion – D’Sha Muayfit ( Tawau )
2nd placing – Tambuakar Martial Arts & Fitness (Papar)
3rd placing – Revolution Combat Muay Gym ( Kota Kinabalu )

This brings back sweet memories for D’Sha Muayfit as back in 2017 they were also crown overall champion in Sabah Muaythai Championship, also held in Papar.

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As head trainer & coach, Sharon said the students work hard for the results. She targeted 10 gold but to bring back 9 gold was good enough for her as she said the level of competition has gone up and many of the opponents are well prepared.

In SME – Kota Marudu edition, March, D’Sha got 2nd placing with 8 gold. In Aug when D’Sha hosted SME- Tawau edition, they became overall champion with 14 gold.

Sharon said D’Sha will continue to promote Muaythai among the youths in Tawau. She is always on the lookout for new young talent that she can develop into champion & will always support the events organized by Muaythai Sabah.  She hopes parents will continue to support & send their children for classes as it will help the children develop good discipline, improve their health, confidence and also gain school’s co-curriculum points for them.

Sharon also is very appreciative of the parents of her students that support financially & mentally for this competition. And to co-organiser, Tambuakar Martial Arts that arrange the transport for D’Sha team from KK Airport to Papar.

D’Sha will be sending 6 athletes for next week Sabah Games (SAGA) in Kota Kinabalu. She is aiming to bring back 3 Gold medals & is confident on two of her student, Helmi & Sharizan will deliver.

Helmi (left), Sharizan (middle) & Sharon (right)

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Beyond the intense fights in the ring, the Sabah Muaythai Expo 2023 served as a platform to promote the growth and development of Muay Thai in Sabah. The competition showcased the state’s association commitment to nurturing new local talent.

To reward the youth for their hard work & give encouragement for them to continuously improve, Muaythai Sabah also give out Special award to new emerging young talent.

According to Head Coach of Muaythai Sabah – Dhillon Tahing, The Muaythai Expo series aim to promote Muaythai in all the district of Sabah by giving exposure to practitioners to showcase their skills & to build the youths’ interest in Muaythai

Dhillon Tahing

The series also is a platform to get athletes prepare for the year end Sabah Games ( SAGA ) which will be held in Kota Kinabalu next week.

The last SAGA games was way back in 2019, which Keningau district emerged champion. So before 2023 ends, more Muaythai action will be on at Dewan Kebudayaan Penampang 17-21 Dec 2023.