Only Training in Muay Thai for Just Over a Year
Ahead of the tournament, her coach at the ROC, Justin McDermott, was full of praise for her skills and optimistic for her chances in Bangkok. “She’s strong in all her areas but she’s got a good clinch, strong posture, good punches and fast powerful kicks,” he explained. She’s developing a second phase of attack, we’re working on that and sharpening all those areas up now.”
And his confidence proved to be well-founded. In her first bout against a Thai girl, Rhya secured a tie before winning her second fight against an American girl. Two other opponents withdrew, which meant that Rhya returned from Bangkok having finished in 2nd place in her age-group. As her coach concluded, “we were pretty happy with that”, but there was more.
Rhya was also awarded the Female Rising Star Youth World Championship title, which recognises the participant which has the greatest potential for future achievement. To receive such an accolade after only training in Muay Thai for just over a year is an astonishing feat and once which her coach summed up neatly when he described her as “a little beast.”