Georgia’s Sakhil Allakhverdovi became the first guaranteed medallist in the European Games28 June 2019
The first medallists are revealed in the fifth competition day at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus. The first guaranteed medal was achieved by Georgia’s Sakhil Allakhverdovi at the light flyweight (49kg) in Minsk. Ukraine’s star Oleksandr Khyzhniak are also in the last four already while another AIBA World Champion Sofiane Oumiha of France joined to the best eight at the lightweight (60kg).
Altogether 317 boxers including 59 women are attending in the European Games from record number of 44 nations in Minsk, Belarus. The following nations are taking part in the European Games: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great-Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
France’s defending AIBA World Champion and Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha moved up to the light welterweight (64kg) this year. The French is one of the best athletes in the whole world who lost only a lone contest in the recent two years. The 25-year-old French used his unpredictable movements to catch Russia’s National Champion Aleksei Mazur. Oumiha was a hard target for the Russian and his next super performance meant he eliminated a top opponent in Minsk. France’s star will be meeting in the quarter-finals with Poland’s 20-year-old Damian Durkacz who defeated Serbia’s two-time National Champion Aleksandar Konovalov today.
Surprise of the day
Italy’s Simone Fiori is an experienced boxer who competed already in international events since 2010 but in the recent years he was not able to repeat his peak performance. The Italian moved back to the light heavyweight (81kg) to attend in the European Games. The 30-year-old Italian had a tough opponent Russia’s Imam Khataev who defeated several of his rivals by RSC in the previous competitions. The Italian was not enough shape in the first round but found the best strategy against his Russian star opponent to cause one of the main surprises of Day5.
Armenia’s defending EUBC European Champion Hovhannes Bachkov was seeded as No.1 at the light welterweight (64kg) in Minsk. The Armenian boxer did not attend many events in 2018 but he prepared well to the European Games in the recent months. The 27-year-old boxer was too strong for Ireland’s James McGivern in the first round and he was able to keep his amazing dominancy until the end of the final gong.
Great Britain’s Luke McCormack was silver medallist in the last 2017 edition of the EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships in Kharkiv and arrived to Minsk as one of the favourites of the light welterweight (64kg) besides to Oumiha and Bachkov. The English boxer performed well in the first round against Hungary’s Milan Fodor who produced better rhythm than in his last contest in Minsk. McCormack was not able to dominate their fight and the Hungarian caught him with tough punches. Fodor’s third round was remarkable but his efforts were not enough to turn back their fight which ended by split decision in the favour of McCormack.
Georgia’s Lasha Guruli defeated Turkey’s AIBA Youth World Champion Tugrulhan Erdemir in the final of the 2018 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships one year ago. The Turkish light welterweight (64kg) boxer was motivated on their re-match in Minsk which was held in the last 16. The Turkish boxer moved ahead from the first seconds and found the best fighting distance quickly in their world class fight. Guruli’s long distance tactic worked well only in the third round which means Erdemir has done revenge in the Games.
Slovakia’s Matus Strnisko and his opponent Switzerland’s Uke Smajli both achieved medals in several international tournaments in the recent years and met each other in the last 16 of the light heavyweight (81kg). The Slovakian boxer had tough attacks in the first round but he received also punches from the Swiss side. Strnisko performed much better in the second and his peak performance thrashed the FISU University World Boxing Championships bronze medallist boxer.
Great Britain’s EUBC European Union Champion Benjamin Whittaker has been shining since he moved up to the light heavyweight (81kg) and has done another fantastic performance in the preliminary round of the Games. The 22-year-old British boxer used his longer reach to keep the safest distance against Austria’s Umar Dzambekov and his extra footwork guaranteed for him a place in the quarter-finals.
Turkey’s AIBA Youth World Champion and two-time EUBC European Women’s U22 Champion Busenaz Surmeneli is in top form this year. The 21-year-old Turkish boxer moved back to the middleweight (75kg) to attend in the European Games where her first rival was Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Love Holgersson. Surmeneli was smaller than her Nordic rival but she reduced the fighting range successfully to eliminate a top rival in Minsk.
The first guaranteed medal of the whole European Games was achieved by Georgia’s EUBC European Youth Champion Sakhil Allakhverdovi who was slightly better than Great Britain’s Aqeel Ahmed in the quarter-finals of the light flyweight (49kg). The second medal in this category was captured by Ireland’s newcomer in the national team Regan Daly who had a tough fight against Spain’s Martin Molina.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak is the defending EUBC European Champion and AIBA World Champion at the middleweight (75kg) who arrived to Minsk to achieve his next title. The Ukrainian boxer had a competitive rival in the quarter-final but he triumphed over Russia’s Gleb Bakshi which means he is now guaranteed medallist. The Ukrainian No.1 will be meeting in the semi-final with Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro who eliminated Sweden’s Adam Chartoi in a tight contest.