Eight nations shared the gold medals at the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event09 June 2021
The finals were held in the eighth competition day of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in Villebon-sur-Yvette, France where the gold medals have been shared between eight nations.
The stars of the European continent such as Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu, Italy’s Irma Testa, Ireland’s Kellie Harrington, Great Britain’s Pat McCormack, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, France’s Sofiane Oumiha and Russia’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov all won their weight categories in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.
After the start in London on March 2020, the best 176 boxers remained in action in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. Altogether 16 boxers earned their quota places for the Tokyo Olympic Games in London and further 61 spots have been decided in Villebon-sur-Yvette.
Twenty-one European nations achieved at least one quota place for the Olympic Games: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
Following France’s Billal Bennama’s success over Galal Yafai of Great Britain at the men’s flyweight (52kg), another amazing battle was held at the welterweight (69kg). Great Britain’s Pat McCormack and Russia’s Andrei Zamkovoy were the finalists of the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Yekaterinburg. The Russian veteran won that world final two years ago and he landed nice hooks but McCormack was in top form today. The English boxer ruled the middle of the ring and tried to overcame the Russian with various combinations. McCormack, who spent the recent 10 years in tough international events, produced an amazing final round and his uppercuts and jabs reached the target. There are fantastic sportsmanship between the two stars and this time McCormack has done a revenge and won the final by unanimous decision.
Turkey’s defending European Games winner and EUBC European Champion Busenaz Cakiroglu eliminated Bulgaria’s veteran Stoyka Krasteva in the semi-finals of the flyweight (51kg). The Turkish boxer met with Great Britain’s Charley Davison for the gold medal of the Qualifier and both gave in everything to take the first title. Cakiroglu used her longer fighting distance once again and her tactical repertoires were better than the British girl who returned to the national team after a long break. Davison felt also the tempo but Cakiroglu’s counter-punches decided their contest and Turkey claimed the first gold medal.
Ireland’s 2018 AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington fully recovered from her injuries and arrived to the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in top shape. The experienced Irish lightweight (60kg) boxer met with Great Britain’s young sensation Caroline Dubois in the final. The 20-year-old English won all of the major youth championships and eliminated Finland’s star Mira Potkonen in the last 16. Harrington was patient in the first round against Dubois and tried to use the same fighting style as the English talent. The Irish boxer used all of her experiences to control the contest against one of the biggest woman talents of the whole globe and she succeeded.
Wales’ AIBA Women’s World Champion at the middleweight (75kg) Lauren Price represents Team GB in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in Villebon-sur-Yvette. The 27-year-old boxer met in the final with Russia’s Zenfira Magomedalieva who surprisingly eliminated Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn in the semi-final. Price was quicker than her older Russian opponent, used her footwork well and landed several hooks from safer distance to control the contest. Price was confident in the final round and she dominated the third female final of the Qualifier taking the first gold medal for Great Britain.
Italy’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Irma Testa started slowly in the first round of her previous competitions but she worked hard on this issue in the recent months with her coach Mr. Emanuele Renzini to fix it. The Italian featherweight (57kg) boxer moved ahead more than in the semi-final but felt the distance well against Ireland’s two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh. Testa used her distance even better in the second round and she had a massive advantage before the final period. The Italian worked perfectly in all of the event and secured gold medal for her nation in Villebon-sur-Yvette.
Turkey’s second woman star Busenaz Surmeneli also advanced to the finals of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event as her teammate Busenaz Cakiroglu. The Turkish welterweight (69kg) boxer met with Germany’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nadine Apetz in the final. Surmeneli not only dictated the tempo but she landed tough body and head shots against the satisfied German who tried to keep longer fighting range. She claimed Turkey’s second gold medal in the day of the finals and proved that she is one of the Olympic favourites.
Russia’s Albert Batyrgaziev was a surprise of their national elite team in the recent two years who progressed a lot and the 23-year-old boxer is now ready for big tasks. The Russian featherweight (57kg) boxer was never stopped attacking in the first round against France’s Samuel Kistohurry and his rhythm looked different. The 26-year-old French was stronger but Batyrgaziev used different tempo to and his energetic style delivered for him a gold medal in the Qualifiers. His teammate AIBA World Champion at the heavyweight (91kg), Muslim Gadzhimagomedov defeated in the final Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak won all of the big events in the recent years including the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships, the European Games and the EUBC European Boxing Championships. The Ukrainian middleweight (75kg) boxer missed the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships which was won by Russia’s Gleb Bakshi. The two boxers met in the final of the Qualifier and their contest was the next remarkable battle in France. Khyzhniak’s rhythm was adopted by the Russian but in that tactical game the Ukrainian performed better and claimed his next title.