EUROPE at Rio Olympics02 September 2016
European female and male boxers just concluded the Rio Olympics, 20 of them placed on the podium bringing home 4 gold medal, 6 silver and 10 bronze. In London 2012 they won 27 medals, namely 7 gold, 7 silver, and 13 bronze. We must take note of a slight drop. Some countries such as Ukraine, Ireland and Italy have noticeably disappointed. Some other countries, such as Russia and Great Britain have had some slight decrease compared to London 2012. Other countries moreover, such as Bulgaria and Lithuania, didn’t pass the preliminary rounds.
Pres. Franco Falcinelli with the lightweight Sofiane Oumiha (FRA)
There have been also others disappointments for athletes that could and would have deserved more, but nonetheless we must rejoice for the memorable success of France, that won 6 Olympic medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze). We must also rejoice for Germany who made a podium return, along with Croatia and Finland. Moreover, a praise must be given to the Netherlands that has taken home a historic silver medal.
A final note: as always the “home advantage” and the Brazilian passionate cheering, gave a psychological advantage to Brazilian and American athletes and drove them to outstanding performances due to both competitive spirit and strong motivation.
From a technical point of view, we must take into consideration that the first Olympics without headgears gave back to boxing the level of spectacularity that had been missing in the last 32 years. The return to the authenticity of the Noble Art, however, is not yet supported by the purity of the technical movement.
What are the main reasons that, in my opinion, have led to an outcome so below the expectations? We still are far away from the full recovery of technical and tactical abilities and the improvement of the athletic feats. There were too many blows done with the inside of the gloves, too much clinching and too many headbutts. Unfortunately, these irregularities weren’t always prevented by referees. There have been many cautions for the same foul and in all 273 fights were given just a few warnings. Taking into account the technical ratings, besides the inevitable “split decisions”, there have been also some controversial decision.
In order to demonstrate that AIBA can’t allow mistakes that could penalize deserving athletes and to confirm once again the ethics, the willingness to assure fairness and fair play in Olympic boxing, President Wu and the AIBA Board have taken the resounding decision to suspend 7 Officials. This tough decision taken by AIBA, was welcomed by everyone and IOC President Thomas Bach sent President Wu a praise letter for the exemplary punitive action that reaffirms once again the will to maintain the Olympic spirit and spectacular quality of boxing. AIBA is not corrupt! President Wu and the Executive Committee will continue to fight harshly against those who want to damage the image, prestige and reputation of Executives, Coaches, Referees and Judges of the AIBA Family.
Rio 2016 Medal Standing
Medal per Continent