Seven nations shared the gold medals in the first day of the finals at the European Games where Spain and Belarus claimed titles after long hiatus29 June 2019
The first part of the finals was held in the eighth competition day at the European Games in Minsk. Belarus today. Seven boxers won the gold medals from the countries of Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, Belarus, Great Britain, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Spain won its first title since 1971 while Belarus took gold after 17 years of hiatus.
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.
Women’s featherweight (57kg)
Bulgaria’s best female boxer Stanimira Petrova is two-time EUBC European Women’s Champion and she claimed a surprise gold medal still back at the Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Bulgarian featherweight (57kg) boxer eliminated a top rival Netherlands’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Jemyma Betrian in the semi-finals. The Bulgarian boxer was confident in the first round of her final against Ireland’s Michaela Walsh and took the lead after three minutes. Petrova was a hard target for the Irish boxer who used her longer reach and footwork to keep the safest distance. The Bulgarian boxer won her European titles in 2016 and in 2018 and remained on the top of the continent in Minsk.
Women’s welterweight (69kg)
Germany’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nadine Apetz and Finland’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Elina Gustafsson were eliminated during the road to the finals at the welterweight (69kg). Poland’s Karolina Koszewska returned to the world of boxing in 2017 after several years of break and her decision paid off in the European Games. The Polish boxer controlled the first and second rounds against Italy’s Assunta Canfora in the final and following six minutes she had comfortable advantage. The Italian boxer, who won the gold medal at the Indian Open International Tournament, gave in everything in the third but her efforts were not enough to turn back their fight which delivered a gold medal for Poland. Koszewska’s title was Poland’s first elite European gold medal since Karolina Michalczuk’s success in 2009.
Men’s flyweight (52kg)
Spain’s best boxer Gabriel Escobar claimed two silver medals in the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships in 2017 and in 2018 and on these occasions he lost to Bulgaria’s star Daniel Asenov. The Spanish flyweight (52kg) boxer was EUBC European Union Champion and Mediterranean Games winner in 2018 and remained unbeaten this year. The 23-year-old Spanish boxer had a strong strategy against two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov in the first male final of the European Games. Escobar was motivated following his previous losses to Asenov and his footwork was better today which decided their world class contest. Escobar’s gold medal was Spain’s first title since 1971 when Juan Francisco Rodriguez won the flyweight (51kg).
Men’s lightweight (60kg)
Belarus’ best hope for the gold medal on home soil Dzmitry Asanau was bronze medallist at the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships at the age of 19. The Rio 2016 Olympian and EUBC European U22 Champion lightweight (60kg) boxer did not surprise Russia’s Gabil Mamedov with his tactic in the final but his efficiency was great in the first round. Asanau moved more on feet and landed counter-punches in the opening minutes but Mamedov caught him in the second therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the third. Asanau mobilized all of his remaining power in the last round and defeated his Russian rival in Minsk securing Belarus’ first European title since Khavazhi Khatsigov’s gold in 2002.
Men’s welterweight (69kg)
Great Britain’s Pat McCormack has been attending in the international events since 2011 and had enough experience naming as main favourite of the welterweight (69kg) before the start of the European Games. The 24-year-old Rio 2016 Olympian was silver medallist in the last edition of the EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships in Kharkiv which he finally changed to gold in Minsk. McCormack eliminated Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor in the semi-finals and he was highly confident against Russia’s Khariton Agrba in the final. McCormack’s clear dominancy meant he became European Games winner and remained unbeaten since August 2017.
Men’s light heavyweight (81kg)
Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor won gold medal in the 2015 European Games and their second Cuban-descent boxer Loren Alfonso Dominguez has done the biggest surprise in the day of the finals in Minsk. The 24-year-old Azeri hope had to face with Great Britain’s virtuoso Benjamin Whittaker who moved up to the light heavyweight (81kg) one year ago. Whittaker used his longer reach in the previous stages of the Games but Alfonso is even taller than him. Both boxers have done their bests in the final and due his last round Azerbaijan’s new sensation was able to win the gold medal in Minsk.
Men’s super heavyweight (+91kg)
Ukraine’s defending EUBC European Champion Viktor Vykhryst did not attend many events in 2018 only prepared for the next main goals to prove his very best in Minsk. The 27-year-old Ukrainian eliminated Russia’s favourite Ivan Veriasov and Croatia’s Marko Milun during his road to the finals. The Ukrainian super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer met for the title with France’s new national team member Mourad Aliev who replaced Djamili Dini Aboudou Moindze this year. Vykhryst was not enough shape in the first round but from the second he worked better and defended his throne in Europe.