Belarus and Russia shared the gold medals in the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament18 October 2020
The finals were held in the fourth competition day of the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament in Minsk, Belarus which saw several top fights between the Russians, Uzbeks and local boxers. Four women and ten male finals were in the program of Day4 when the Russian stars as Evgeniy Zhorov, Magomed Mamayev, Dmitriy Zakharov and Mikhail Usov all won the gold medals.
Vladimir Botvinnik was born in 1938 and following his early career, he became Champion of the Soviet Union in 1959 at the age of 21 as the second boxer from Belarus in the history of the event. The seven-time Belarusian National Champion was a successful coach after his athlete career and trained the next generation of boxers in Belarus. Following his awards and dedicated life to boxing the competition was named after him.
The Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament was a preparation event before the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. The Botvinnik Memorial Tournament was held mostly for the junior boxers in the recent years but the Belarusian Boxing Federation decided to change the age group to youth in 2020. Boxers who were born in 2002 and in 2003 were eligible to attend in the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Belarus to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Boxing Tournament.
The bout of the day
Russia’s two-time EUBC Schoolboys Champion Evgeniy Zhorov eliminated a top Uzbek boxer in the semi-finals of the men’s flyweight (52kg) in Minsk. The 17-year-old Russian proved strong development since his junior age in terms of technical and tactical skills. He received punches in the first round of the final against another Uzbek, Youth National Champion Dilshod Abduvaliev. Zhorov felt he needs to show more from his upgraded skills and moved more on feet from the second round to find the best attacking angles. The Russian boxer was slightly better in their fight and won the gold medal following his success over a top opponent.
The surprise of the day
Belarus’ second male gold medal in the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament was achieved by EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kiryl Levankou. The 18-year-old boxer moved up from the light flyweight (49kg) up to the bantamweight (56kg) in the previous months. Levankou faced with Russia’s Aleksei Shendrik who eliminated EUBC European Junior Champion Mikhail Grigoryan in the semi-finals. The Belarusian boxer exceeded the expectations with his strong combinations and surprisingly he won the title of the weight category over a top Russian.
Belarus’ Irina Vinogradova has got experiences from international events and she was able to defeat her main national rival, Kristina Tsyrkunova at the women’s bantamweight (54kg) in the first final of the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament. The best performance in the female part of the event was delivered by Vladlena Bezpalova of Russia who defeated Belarus’ Viktoria Teliman in the final of the lightweight (60kg).
Belarus’ Uladzislau Smolouski eliminated an Uzbek boxer Ibragim Ishjonov at the light flyweight (49kg) which was a tough battle in the semi-finals of the Botvinnik Youth Memorial Tournament. Smolouski had to face for the gold medal with another Uzbek, Youth National Champion Avazjon Yuldashev who eliminated Russia’s Robert Badalyan in the second semi-final of the event. The Belarusian boxer used his longer reach in their tough final and celebrated his career highlight claiming the title of the first male final.
Russia’s Magomed Mamayev had excellent schoolboys and junior career with top national and international results. The 17-year-old Russian is aiming for a place in their team which will be attending at the upcoming EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. Mamayev was quicker in the exchanges than Belarus’ Vitali Starinski and won the title of the men’s lightweight (60kg) in Minsk.
Russia’s Dmitriy Zakharov was already member of their youth national team in 2019 and achieved strong results in several events. The 18-year-old Russian controlled the final of the welterweight (69kg) and defeated Belarus’ No.1 Yan Krukouski in Minsk. Another strong Russian, EUBC European Junior Champion Mikhail Usov survived his dangerous quarter-final and semi-final against two strong Uzbeks as Login Petrov and Nurislom Ismoilov. Usov had the power and motivation to beat Belarus’ Uladzislau Starostenka in the final of the middleweight (75kg).