French leader Macron ‘knocked out’ by Muay Thai at legendary Bangkok stadium
French President Emmanuel Macron took time out during the Apec summit to visit the famed Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.
The French leader visited the stadium, where legends of Muay Thai have fought since 1945, to speak with fighters on Thursday.
Macron arrived in Thailand to attend the annual Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok on Friday and Saturday, but the French president is known to have a keen interest in sports.
Welcoming him at Rajadamnern Stadium were Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, media firm Plan B’s managing director Pinijsorn Luechaikajohnpan, and the stadium’s executive manager Jit Cheosakul.
Macron told them that he was a big sports fan and liked watching football and boxing, including Muay Thai.
He then watched ringside as two Muay Thai fighters gave a demonstration of their martial arts skills in a short sparring exhibition, showcasing traditional kicks and leg-swipes that have become a staple of modern mixed martial arts.
Macron was also gifted a pair of Muay Thai shorts with his own name written across them, said Thainchai Pisitwuttinan, CEO of Global Sport Ventures, organiser of the Rajadamnern World Series.
The French leader tweeted a video of himself speaking to students at the stadium and watching as they sang “The Marseilles” French national anthem. He also praised Muay Thai as not just Thailand’s national sport but also a treasure worthy of global respect.