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Sergeant Rafael Kamalov (RUS) and Able Seaman Yvette Yong (CAN) win 2018 CISM Athlete of the year Awards!



BRUSSELS (BEL) – For the first time in the CISM History, Sergeant Rafael Kamalov (RUS) and Able Seaman Yvette Yong (CAN) are the 2018 CISM Male and Female Athletes of the Year, as each beat out two other finalists after a decision of the CISM Board of Directors Members during the first BoD Meeting of the year in February in Berchtesgaden. The two athletes, both Military World Champion in Taekwondo, will be awarded a prize during the next CISM General Assembly and Congress in Vietnam this year.

The other finalists for the men were Warrant Officer Oldřich Šorf (CZE - Parachuting) and Private 1st Class Dario Cologna (CHE – Cross Country Skiing) and 2nd Lieutenant Yunlu Wang (CHN – Volleyball) and Senior Lieutenant Evgeniia Furman (RUS – Parachuting) for the women.



With a gold medal in the -87kg men’s category at the 24th World Military Taekwondo Championship 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sergeant Rafael Kamalov, recently promoted, embodies the CISM ideals and morals of fair play and discipline. As a soldier, he is completely dedicated and obedient to orders of his superiors and takes his responsibilities as a soldier with pride.



During the 24th World Military Taekwondo Championship, Kamalov demonstrated superiority throughout the competition where he dominated his opponents in all four of his matches. Yet, he always demonstrated pure respect and humility in his congratulating his opponents and deference to military discipline to the opponents’ coaches as well as his own coach and Chief of Mission.

He always sets the right competitive and character example for young athletes to follow.

2018 was a very good year for the young Sergeant Kamalov as attested by his competition record.



To finish off an already great year, Kamalov defeated the defending World Champion and current #2 ranking player in the world during the 24th World Military Taekwondo Championship. Kamalov’s performance was awe inspiring.



The young Canadian AB Yvette Yong, also gold medallist 24th World Military Taekwondo Championship  and the first female athlete of the year of the CISM History, epitomizes the meaning of “Friendship Through Sport, when she personally hosted two members of the Brazilian national team who came to Toronto to conduct taekwondo training with the Canadian CISM Team, as well as to learn English through an international language placement program. One of these two Brazilian fighters was an opponent of AB Yong at the finals of the 24th CISM World Taekwondo Championship.



When AB Yong defeated Valeria Rodrigues, she was an inspiration for the venue as the first action that AB Yong took was to embrace Valeria and raise the arm of her opponent to acknowledge her efforts before the Brazilian spectators; then the coach of the Canadian team came on to the ring to assist in the removal of the opponent’s protective equipment.



In addition to her role as a Military Athlete, AB Yong also performs regular military duties such as Search and Rescue missions with the Royal Canadian Navy. AB Yong took advantage of these missions to also teach Taekwondo and general physical fitness to sailors on her ship.

During her off-duty times, AB Yong trains and teaches women’s self-defence and physical fitness.



AB Yvette Yong was also the “Best Female Player” recipient in the 2011 Military World Games for her superior competitive performance. She continues shining as one of the top athletes of this sport.


(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department)