The official 2008 WAKO calendar ended in historical Guimaraes (where the country of Portugal was born) with a beautiful tournament which gathered 450 competitors in representation of 31 European countries. Held in a very modern and spacious sport-hall, our last part of 2008 European Championships showed Russian fighters prevailing in all three disciplines we brought there, i.e. light contact, low-kick and K1 Rules. If we knew that Russian fighters are excpetionally strong in ring sports, from now on we will have to respect them even on tatamis. Their victory was actually unexpected, since Hungary used to dominate in the last editions. Many countries though did very well. Among others, Portugal itself, finishing second just after Russia in K1 Rules. The same we could say about Italy which had its best result of all times in the ring sports, finishing second after Russia in Low-kick and fourth in K1 Rules, after Russia, Portugal, Belarus in the order.
The last European Championships will be remembered in any case for the boycott that former Portuguese Kickboxing Federation president Ana Vital Melo (who lost her re-election in last April in the General Assembly) tried to organize against us and the new Portuguese prersident, Dr. Mario Fernandes. Luckily, WAKO is the owner of its Continental and World Championships and the Portuguese Tribunal could just confirm that.
Mr. Carlos Ramjanali, the promoter of our event, did a real good job and we have just to thank him for his hard work and commitment to WAKO (he had already organized a part of our Europeans in 2006 in Lisbon and the Coimbra World Championships in 2008).
We have had in general a smooth running of our event. Always on time. Of course, we also had some bad calls from our judges, but considering that we had 450 matches, to have 3-4 bad calls is nothing new. Everybody, in the end, can complain about that. And that means our judges distributed their mistakes equally among our members. That's fair and acceptable. Of course, to avoid future protests, WAKO is strongly supporting the use of the OPEN SCORING SYSTEM we have used for the first time in Guimaraes for our Light contact tournament.
In 2009 WAKO want to implement its use also in the ring sports hoping to put an end to the few complains we have always had in any tournaments so far. At least, that is the hope.