Amazing Dutch performance in the quarter-finals of the European Games at the first time after the ‘90s29 June 2019
The second part of the quarter-finals was held in the sixth competition day at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus. The best 20 women and 40 men boxers are remained in actions in the boxing tournament of the European Games which is the annual EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships as well. The Dutch boxers amazed in the quarter-finals and three of their stars advanced to the semi-finals which is their best performance since the ‘90s.
Altogether 317 boxers including 59 women are attending in the European Games from record number of 44 nations in Minsk, Belarus. The following nations are taking part in the European Games: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great-Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
Netherlands’ Jemyma Betrian switched from kick-boxing and other martial arts to boxing only one and half year ago and quickly achieved a bronze medal in the last AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Dutch featherweight (57kg) boxer used her amazing stamina to beat Italy’s Astana 2016 AIBA Women’s World Champion Alessia Mesiano in the quarter-finals today which was one of the best fights of the day. The Italian boxer was more than competitive for Betrian but the new Dutch sensation was enough fresh to beat Mesiano today. Betrian’s next opponent will be Bulgaria’s Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova in the semi-finals which will be another anticipated fight.
Surprises of the day
Germany’s Ornella Wahner claimed gold medal at the featherweight (57kg) in the New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Since then she needed relaxation and did not attend in any events which means her quarter-final bout in the European Games was a return from her to the ring. Wahner did not feel herself well in the ring and suffered a loss to Ireland’s Cologne Boxing World Cup winner Michaela Walsh on Day6. The Irish boxer will be meeting in the last four with Russia’s Daria Abramova who eliminated Belarus’ experienced Helina Bruyevich.
The next Irish surprise was delivered by Grainne Walsh at the women’s welterweight (69kg) who had to meet with the reigning EUBC European Women’s Champion Elina Gustafsson in the quarter-finals. The strong Finnish boxer changed her coach this year but she was not able to repeat her last year’s performance in Minsk. The Irish boxer had sensational attacks in each of the round and eliminated the favourite of the category.
Russia’s Iaroslava Iakushina was Rio 2016 Olympian boxer who achieved high number of top results in the previous AIBA and EUBC events but she was not able to repeat her very best in Minsk today. She did not find the best fighting distance against veteran Karolina Koszewska and her Polish opponent defeated her in the quarter-finals. Koszewska and Grainne Walsh the two surprise girl in the quarter-finals of the welterweight (69kg) will be facing each other in the semi-finals after the rest day.
Germany’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nadine Apetz had to wait for six days to start her campaign in the European Games. The experienced German boxer knew her quarter-final rival Hungary’s Vivien Budai from the Kienbaum training camp and controlled all of the rounds. Apetz will be facing in the last four with Italy’s Indian Open Tournament winner Assunta Canfora who eliminated France’s Emilie Sonvico today.
Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion at the flyweight (52kg) Daniel Asenov had to face with a dangerous rival France’s Billal Bennama who won the Cologne Boxing World Cup this April. Asenov had excellent footwork once again which decided their narrow fight in Minsk therefore he will be boxing next with Great Britain’s Galal Yafai who was too quick for Ukraine’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Dmytro Zamotayev.
Another key boxer at the flyweight (52kg) Spain’s Gabriel Escobar was EUBC European Union Champion and Mediterranean Games winner in 2018 following his U22 successes. The 23-year-old Spanish boxer used a different rhythm and controlled his fight against Armenia’s veteran Baregham Harutyunyan. Escobar’s semi-final opponent will be Italy’s two-time Olympian Manuel Cappai who eliminated Georgia’s Nodari Darbaidze.
Ireland’s Kurt Walker won the gold medal in the 2018 EUBC European Union Boxing Championships therefore his success over France’s Samuel Kistohurry was not a surprise. Germany’s Sharafa Raman is the oldest semi-final member following his success over Georgia’s Artyush Gomtsyan. Ukraine’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Mykola Butsenko eliminated Belarus’ Nikalai Shakh in another top bantamweight (56kg) fight.
Great Britain’s EUBC European Champion Peter McGrail was too strong for Albania’s last remained hope Krenar Zeneli in the quarter-finals of the bantamweight (56kg) and claimed a guaranteed medal in Minsk. His teammate Pat McCormack stopped Monaco’s sensation Hugo Micallef who won two contests in the European Games. McCormack’s next opponent will be Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor who used his longer reach to beat Kosovo’s 14-year-younger Patriot Behrami.
Germany’s Nelvie Raman Hess Tiafack was bronze medallist in the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships but he has only 40 bouts during his career. In spite of the fact that the 20-year-old German is lack of enough experiences he controlled the first round against Armenia’s Gurgen Hovhannisyan. Tiafack was enough strong to keep his advantage and will be meeting with France’s Mourad Aliev who eliminated Bulgaria’s Petar Belberov in another tight fight. Ukraine’s defending champion Viktor Vykhryst and Croatia’s Marko Milun also advanced to the semi-finals of the super heavyweight (+91kg).
The stars of the women’s lightweight (60kg) as Ireland’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington, Russia’s 2014 AIBA Women’s World Champion Anastasia Beliakova, Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen and Sweden’s No.1 Agnes Alexiusson all advanced to the semi-finals in Minsk. Among them Harrington had the toughest fight on Day6 but she was enough focused to eliminate Italy’s Irma Testa in the Belarusian capital.
Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn is the defending champion at the European Games as well. The Dutch middleweight (75kg) boxer had a tough opponent Turkey’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Busenaz Surmeneli but she demonstrated her superiority already in the first round. Fontijn delivered her best performance against one of her main rivals and followed her teammate Jemyma Betrian to the last four.
France’s defending AIBA World Champion and Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha and the second top favourite of the light welterweight (64kg) Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov both advanced to the semi-finals in Minsk following their successes over Poland’s Damian Durkacz and Greece’s Alexandros Tsanikidis. Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympian Enrico la Cruz also impressed in this category and eliminated Turkey’s AIBA Youth World Champion 20-year-old Tugrulhan Erdemir.