Artingstall, Koszewska and Thour won the closest battles in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem on Day106 May 2021
The 51st edition of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem opened with twenty bouts in the Czech Republic where two rings are used in the competition. England’s Karriss Artingstall and Poland’s European Games winner Karolina Koszewska won their narrow contests on Day1. Sweden’s Stephanie Thour returned to the international events and defeated her French rival in Usti nad Labem.
The traditional boxing competition returned to the boxing map after two years of break but there was huge interest from the National Federations to comeback to Usti nad Labem. The Technical Delegate of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem is Mr. Dragoljub Radovic who worked also in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.
The following 19 nations from three Confederations are attending in the new edition of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem: Austria, host Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Mali, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in the Czech Republic to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem.
The bout of the day
England’s Karriss Artingstall was an unknown boxer four years ago but she had tough training sessions and quickly reached the level of the top athletes at the women’s featherweight (57kg). The Army boxer was bronze medallist at the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and won several international tournaments before the Covid-19 pandemic. The English boxer returned to the competitions in Usti nad Labem and she had a very strong job against Poland’s Sandra Kruk who was also medallist in major events. The Polish boxer moved ahead without any stoppage therefore Artingstall was busy in the ring to avoid those attacks. The English boxer had outstanding physical condition to beat her Polish rival using her technical repertoires.
The surprise of the day
France’s Mona Mestiaen is their experienced female national team member who has been attending in the international events since 2013. The EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships bronze medallist French boxer was the favourite against Sweden’s younger Stephanie Thour in the first preliminary round of the featherweight (57kg). The Swedish girl used the best fighting range against Mestiaen and she succeeded in Usti nad Labem.
Poland’s European Games silver medallist Sandra Drabik is a veteran boxer at the women’s flyweight (51kg) but she is still in top shape. The 33-year-old Polish is famous of her powerful punches which she proved against Spain’s Laura Fuertes in the first bout of the entire Grand Prix. Fuertes returned from her shoulder injury in Usti nad Labem but Drabik used her strength well enough and defeated the Spaniard in the first preliminary round. The Polish star will be meeting in the quarter-finals with Hungary’s Hajnalka Sipos in the quarter-finals.
Finland’s next top female boxer could be Vilma Viitanen who had an impressive junior and youth career in the previous years. The 20-year-old Finnish boxer started the year with a medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and she was fantastic in her debuting contest at the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem. Her opponent Mali’s All Africa Games silver medallist Fatoumata Camara was taller but Viitanen managed to move closer to the former French boxer. Finland’s new pride eliminated the African boxer and will be meeting with Hungary’s Szabina Szucs in the quarter-finals of the featherweight (57kg).
Poland’s European Games winner Karolina Koszewska is a veteran boxer but she is one of the biggest names in the female part of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem. The tall Polish boxer had a tough battle against Czech Republic’s No.1. Martina Schmoranzova and she had to do her very best to win that contest. In another women’s welterweight (69kg) contest France’s Emilie Sonvico defeated Germany’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nadine Apetz by split decision.