Atanasov and Behrami were the teenage stars of the Adem Jashari Memorial Tournament28 November 2018
One of Kosovo’s main boxing activities the next edition of the Adem Jashari Memorial Tournament was held in their country which was a successful competition at the Minatori Sports Hall in Mitrovica. Young international level talents such as Bulgaria’s 18-year-old Ivan Atanasov, Kosovo’s 19-year-old Patriot Behrami and Albania’s Alban Beqiri were all win their weight classes in the event.
Kosovo is a new boxing nation in the AIBA Family which has joined as affiliated federation member in 2012 to the International Boxing Association and also the European Boxing Confederation. Their young athletes took part almost all of the AIBA and EUBC events in the women and in the men parts of the sport since their debut in 2012.
Their main international elite tournament was named by Adem Jashari who is one of the biggest national heroes of the country. Record number of 10 nations as Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Poland and Switzerland were attended in the Adem Jashari Memorial Tournament.
The first gold medal of the Adem Jashari Memorial Tournament was achieved by a local boxer Besfort Merlaku who defeated Kosovo’s Leutrim Rexhepi in the final of the bantamweight (56kg). The 20-year-old boxer claimed silver medal in the last edition of the Adem Jashari Memorial Tournament in 2017 which he has changed into gold a few days ago in Mitrovica.
His brother Leon Merlaku claimed Kosovo’s second title following his success over Germany’s Markus Da Silva at the lightweight (60kg). In the second group of this category F.Y.R. of Macedonia’s EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships competitor Jasin Lama was too strong for Poland‘s Marcel Janicki.
Bulgaria’s Boxam Youth Tournament winner Ivan Atanasov is a super talented boxer who will be turning to 19 only in 2019 but his skills are strong enough to win elite competitions as well. The AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships competitor was a hard target for Kosovo’s Flamur Sejfijaj and Atanasov’s attacks were enough efficient to win the light welterweight (64kg) taking Bulgaria’s lone gold medal in the event.
Kosovo’s 19-year-old Patriot Behrami attended in the Mediterranean Games this June but since then he moved up to the welterweight (69kg) where he was too smart for Switzerland’s Ricard Naser and won the final. Albania’s Baku 2015 European Games competitor Alban Beqiri moved up to the middleweight (75kg) and impressed against Czech Republic’s Martin Prazdny in the final.
In the second group of the middleweight (75kg) Kosovo’s Besart Kurhaski dominated his final over Albania‘s Idriz Istrefaj. Kosovo’s next title was taken by Ardit Delijaj who defeated F.Y.R. of Macedonia’s Arsim Etemi in the final of the light heavyweight (81kg). Poland’s lone title was delivered by Mateusz Nodrinski at the heavyweight (91kg) following his success over Albania‘s Albert Kapaj.