Radovanovic, Krasteva and McCormack were the European heroes of the Tokyo Olympic Games on Day226 July 2021
The European continent proved a fantastic second competition day at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan where 29 preliminary contests have been held in two sessions. Serbia’s lone boxer Nina Radovanovic caused the main sensation of the day when Great Britain’s Luke McCormack and Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria were the further heroes.
Altogether 24 European nations could send boxers to the Olympic Games to Japan where the continent have got 92 tough boxers including 33 women. Many of the European female and male boxers are among the medal and title favourites and title contenders in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The bout of the day
Great Britain’s next boxer in action was EUBC European Boxing Championships silver medallist Luke McCormack who had a tough rival as first, India’s Manish Kaushik. His Asian opponent claimed bronze medal in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships but he is very rhapsodic in the international events. Kaushik proved his better form in the first round but McCormack turned up the heat in the second and caught the Indian with nice combinations. The 26-year-old British produced his best period in the third round and bowed out a medal hopeful in Tokyo.
The surprise of the day
Serbia’s lone boxer in the Olympic Games is Nina Radovanovic who qualified from the ranking to Tokyo. The energetic Serbian had to meet with Canada’s Mandy Bujold who returned from a maternity leave in time to compete in Japan’s capital. The Canadian was quarter-finalist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and she won her continent’s titles several times but Radovanovic’s speed surprised the experienced Bujold. The Serbian girl caught Bujold with several shots in the first and seconds rounds and decided their contest causing a sensation in the day. Bujold celebrated her 34th birthday just today but Radovanovic destroyed her celebrations in Tokyo.
Italy qualified four girls to the Tokyo Olympic Games and following Irma Testa’s success, their Giordana Sorrentino also opened her campaign with a triumph. The small Italian flyweight (51kg) boxer, who developed rapidly, met with Venezuela’s Irismar Del Valle Cardozo in the last 32 and after the first round, she proved her impressive rhythm. Her coach, Mr. Emanuele Renzini gave her strong advices in the first break and following that Sorrentino shined in their preliminary bout, achieving the next Italian success.
Russian Olympic Committee’s Gabil Mamedov claimed silver medal at the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Boxing Championships and qualified for the Games with tough performance in Paris. The 27-year-old Russian, who joined to the international events in 2010, had a European rival as first, Poland’s Damian Durkacz. The Polish boxer tried to attack as in the Qualifying Event but Mamedov’s technical skills decided their contest. The Russian controlled all of the three rounds and advanced to the last 16 of the strong lightweight (63kg) with strong performance.
Armenia’s EUBC European Champion and European Games winner Hovhannes Bachkov was their flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games and he is their main medal contender. The 29-year-old Armenian met with Antigua & Barbuda’s UK-based Alston Ryan who is their first qualified Olympian boxer since 1988. Bachkov knocked down his Caribbean rival in the first round and he dominated the opening three minutes as expected. The Armenian team captain continued in the same strong way but his Antiguan rival survived the dangerous moments therefore Bachkov won the contest by unanimous decision.
Azerbaijan’s Javid Chalabiyev was AIBA World Champion in 2013 and he qualified for his second Olympic Games. The Azeri boxer moved up to the lightweight (63kg) and won his first contest in Tokyo which was his first Olympic success during his long career. Chalabiyev used his distance better than Ukraine’s Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Yaroslav Khartsyz and eliminated his rival by unanimous decision. Chalabiyev advanced to the last 16 and will be meeting with one of the favourites, Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov.
Russian Olympic Committee’s National Champion Imam Khataev is a relatively small boxer at the light heavyweight (81kg) but he is one of the biggest punchers of the category. The 27-year-old Russian started the first round in different level as Morocco’s Mohamed Assaghir. The North African competed in Russian tournaments in the recent years but Khataev’s attacks shocked him in the first round. The Colombian referee counted the Moroccan twice in the first round and confirmed Khataev’s RSC victory in the second.
Great Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker is one of the favourites of the light heavyweight (81kg) who has got impressive footwork and tempo feeling to land punches in time. He met with a smaller boxer as first, Colombia’s former AMBC American Champion veteran Jorge Luis Vivas who moved up from the middleweight (75kg). The Colombian attacked from the first seconds and he had enough power to surprise Whittaker only in the first round. The 24-year-old British used his virtuoso footwork in the second and third rounds therefore to beat the South American in Tokyo.
Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Stoyka Krasteva had to meet in the preliminary round of the women’s flyweight (51kg) with Vietnam’s 2017 ASBC Asian Champion Nguyen Thi Tam. The Bulgarian landed tough jabs in their contest and won one of the tightest contests of the second competition day. Another European hope, Charley Davison returned to the national team in 2019 and proved strong performance once again after the Qualifier. The British flyweight (51kg) boxer was stronger and better in all of the three rounds against Morocco’s Rabab Cheddar.
Belarus’ best hope in the Tokyo Olympic Games, European Games winner Dzmitry Asanau has got experiences from Rio de Janeiro when he competed there at the age of 20. The Belarusian lightweight (63kg) boxer tried to avoid the Jordanian attacks, ASBC Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Obada Al-Kasbeh moved forward from the first seconds. Asanau has got virtuoso footwork and he was a hard target for the attacking Jordanian while his counter-punches worked well enough in the first and second rounds. The Belarusian proved strong technical performance and eliminated the 27-year-old Al-Kasbeh in Tokyo.
Croatia qualified two boxers to the Tokyo Olympic Games and their first talent, Nikolina Cacic won her debuting contest against her US rival. The second Croatian, former Youth Olympic Games medallist Luka Plantic started the first round against Jordan’s veteran Odai Riyad Al-Hindawi with quick attacks and tried to dictate the tempo. The Croatian light heavyweight (81kg) boxer and his Jordanian opponent both received warnings in the second round but Plantic was able to keep his tight advantage until the final gong.