Rotterdam's ten heroes – EYBC 2013 From AIBA Point of View20 August 2013
The EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships ended this week-end with top-quality finals in the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands). Closing an intensive week of competition with 210 fights, Russia and Ukraine topped the medal table, confirming their rank at youth level.
Seven Ukrainians advanced to the semi-final stage of the championships and six of them could fight for the gold medals in Rotterdam. Ukraine could celebrate two top positions while three out of the four Russian finalists were crowned in the competition. Azerbaijan also have had three finalists in the championships and two of their young hopes bagged the gold medals.
In the last edition of the EUBC European Youth Championships Ireland the host nation could not win any gold medal on home soil but now they were able to get a top position in the flyweight (52 kg) class where 17-year-old Gary Cully defeated all of his rivals and awarded the best boxer trophy as well. “I am really tired after the long preparation and competition but extremely happy to win the trophies. I will be travelling with my family to Spain for a holiday and following that I have to start my trainings again to prepare well to the 2014 AIBA Youth World Championships,” said Gary Cully after his arrival back to Ireland.
Next to Ireland another Western European nation returned to the top of the continent following the success of Christian M’Billi Assomo who shocked the main favourites of the middleweight (75 kg) division. The 18-year-old French fighter defeated Russia’s AIBA Junior World Champion Aleksandr Agafonov and caused one of the biggest surprise of the whole championships. “I cannot believe it that I could win the continental championships this is really surprised me. I have returned to my mother who supported and motivated me in my whole life,” said the French winner of the middleweight class.
Following APB boxer Pal Bedak’s gold medal in the 2003 European Junior Championships in this age group, Roland Galos was able to do the same performance in Rotterdam and finished Hungary’s no gold series since the Warsaw edition which was held ten years ago. Roland Galos won all of his five contests in the championships and in spite of his shoulder injury he was able to beat Ukraine’s two-time European Junior Champion Viktor Petrov in the final of the lightweight (60 kg) class. “I felt myself very well in the nice city of Rotterdam and actually I cannot say too much things after the competition. I came a small town from South Hungary and I cannot believe it that I am the European Youth Champion. I have had a close fight against Italy’s Francesco Maietta in the semi-final while we found the winning tactic in the gold medal contest against Ukraine’s Viktor Petrov,” said Roland Galos after returning back to home. Besides Roland Galos’ gold medal European Junior Champion Adam Hamori earned a valuable silver medal for Hungary at the light heavyweight (81 kg) class.
Among Europe’s developing boxing nations Albania achieved its first ever medal in the continental level in 2003 when Nelson Hysa secured a bronze medal in Warsaw. After his success Albania’s biggest boxing hope in the recent past 17-year-old Rexhildo Zeneli could continue the medal series of the country in Rotterdam. The bantamweight (56 kg) class boxer was able to win a bronze in the championships and has got great expectations in the 2014 AIBA Youth World Championships as well. “This is an amazing feeling to win a medal in the European Youth Championships. Thanks for God who always listens, protects and cares for you,” said Zeneli after the competition.
The biggest hope of the host nation AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Wouter Djokic (69 kg) failed his opening contest against Croatia’s Luka Prtenjaca and could not realize the previous expectations. “I was not enough sharp in my opening bout and I felt a lot of pressure from the side of the press and I am so sorry for my early elimination but I have to go ahead and continue the work in the training hall.”
The host Dutch team won one bronze medal following Thomas Oomen’s performance in the heavyweight class (91 kg). Following Peter Mullenberg’s silver in the elite continental competition the Netherlands was able to achieve another important medal in 2013. Four Italians advanced to the semi-finals of the EUBC European Youth Championships which is almost a record in the history of the event but all of them were failed their next step which meant Italy bagged four bronze medals in Rotterdam.
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