Italy earned four gold medals at the 7th Balkan Women’s Tournament11 October 2021
The ten final contests were held in the fourth competition day at the 7th edition of the Balkan Women’s Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria which was stronger than last year. Italy claimed four gold medals in the event and topped the medal standings while Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova and Italy’s Alessia Mesiano won the most anticipated finals.
Boxers at the light flyweight (48kg), flyweight (50kg), light bantamweight (52kg), bantamweight (54kg), featherweight (57kg), lightweight (60kg), light welterweight (63kg), welterweight (66kg), light middleweight (70kg) and middleweight (75kg) were in action in the fourth and last competition day at the Balkan Women’s Tournament.
Bulgaria, Chile, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and Wales attended in the 7th Balkan Women’s Tournament. Altogether 61 elite female boxer competed in the event which is a preparation for the upcoming AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Technical Delegate of the Balkan Women’s Tournament was Mr. Viorel Sima of Romania.
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 Bulgaria avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the new edition of the Balkan Women’s Tournament.
The bout of the day
Alessia Mesiano claimed gold medal for Italy at the Astana 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Since that event, Mesiano moved up to the lightweight (60kg) and she proved better performance this time than in the previous poor years. Mesiano had to meet with a former Italian boxer, Valentina Bustamante which made their lightweight (60kg) unique. Bustamante switched to Chile two years ago and proved rapid developments therefore Mesiano expected a hard battle in Sofia. Bustamante was never stopped attacking but Mesiano choose the right strategy to win their difficult final in the Balkan Women’s Tournament.
The surprises of the day
Russia’s Alena Artemova worked hard in the recent two years to reach the level of the top boxers at the women’s light flyweight (48kg). The young Russian had a tough opponent in the final, Bulgaria’s veteran EUBC European Champion Sevda Asenova but Artemova was able to manage her tight success which was the first unexpected result of the day. In the second Russia vs. Bulgaria final, Zlatislava Chukanova has done an outstanding comeback to the sport following she gave birth to her first baby. The Bulgarian enjoyed the contest in the front of her family and child and defeated a promising Russian boxer, Rinata Bezel in the final of the flyweight (51kg).
Italy’s Olena Savchuk eliminated more experienced rivals during her road to the final of the light bantamweight (52kg) but she has still the power to control her title bout. The Ukrainian-descent Italian worked hard in the final and defeated England’s Tori-Ellis Willets achieving Italy’s first gold medal. The Italians claimed their second gold medal immediately after Savchuk’s split decision success. Sirine Charaabi, who is the titleholder at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships, kept the best fighting distance against Bulgaria’s Gabriela Dimitrova and controlled all of the three rounds at the bantamweight (54kg) final.
One of the most anticipated final contests were held between Bulgaria’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova and Romania’s Tokyo Olympic Games quarter-finalist Claudia Nechita. Both boxers have got different style and attitude to the bouts therefore it was a remarkable battle between them. Stanimira Petrova used her longer hands well enough while Nechita trusted on her impressive power and tried to catch the fast Bulgarian. The judges had hard job to select the winner but Petrova remained on the top of the featherweight (57kg) at the Balkan Women’s Tournament.
Wales’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie Eccles arrived to the Balkan Women’s Tournament as the favourite of the welterweight (66kg) and she accomplished her target after beating Uzbekistan’s 19-year-old Khadijabonu Abdullaeva. Italy’s Assunta Canfora moved down to the new light middleweight (70kg) and celebrated her success over France’s Emilie Sonvico while the last title of the tournament was achieved by England’s Kerry Davis after beating another French boxer, Davina Michel at the middleweight (75kg).