AIBA POINT of View: Future stars crowned in Albena30 September 2013
Poland was the surprise package in the Women’s Junior/Youth World Boxing Championships in Albena (Bulgaria), where they dominated the Youth rankings while Kazakhstan was the runner-up overall. China came third in the Youth section. Meanwhile, in the Junior section of the Championships Russia led the field while Kazakhstan were again in second place. The United States of America took third.
The individual star of the tournament was undoubtedly London 2012 Olympic Champion Claressa Shields who managed to meet the burden of expectations as she took home the gold medal. Following her easy win over Russia’s Matrena Vyachkina in the semi-finals the Middleweight (75kg) star defeated Poland’s Elzbieta Wojcik in the final of the division and was awarded the Best Youth Boxer trophy as well. Claressa Shields is expected to return to the elite level next year at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Canada.
Her compatriots earned two further gold medals for the United States in Albena through Caitlin Orosco and Jajaira Gonzalez in the Pinweight (46kg) and Featherweight (57kg) categories respectively.
Poland’s success began when European Youth Champion Paulina Jakubczyk defeated her main rival, Russia’s Oksana Paltceva in the semi-finals and then tore through China’s Gao Meiling in the Featherweight (57kg) finals. Her teammate Aneta Rygielska triumphed over Kazakhstan’s former AIBA Junior World Champion Aidana Arapbayeva in the Youth Lightweight (60kg) category while Poland’s third gold medal was taken by Junior competitor Justyna Walas at Light Welterweight (63kg). This made for the best ever performance for the Polish women’s team in an AIBA event.
Kazakhstan’s only gold medal was won by Gaukhar Yermekbay who had a close bout against Ireland’s Christine Desmond in the Youth Welterweight (69kg) category. Ireland did take a gold elsewhere however, as Ciara Ginty continued her winning streak against Turkey’s Esra Yildiz. The 16-year-old Irish girl was named also the best Junior of the championships.
Top boxing nation Russia claimed five gold medals. Their rising star Maria Shishmareva opened the account when she dominated all of her fights at the Junior Heavyweight (80+kg) category while her teammates Ekaterina Paltceva, Svetlana Khodarevskaya and Vlada Kalacheva also claimed golds in the Juniors. Meanwhile Youth Heavyweight (80+kg) star Saida Gamidova defeated her main rival, Ukraine’s Iryna Vynnyk, and bagged the fifth title for the country.
Russia did suffer an upset when Hungary’s experienced National Elite Champion Petra Szatmari knocked down their European Junior Champion Ekaterina Serova in the third frame. This proved to be the turning point of their final which resulted in a gold medal for the Hungarian Light Heavyweight (80kg) boxer.
AIBA would like to congratulate all the competitors for an excellent event. You can follow AIBA on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news.