Strandja Memorial Tournament 2015 AIBA recap and results05 March 2015
The Strandja Memorial Tournament is one of Bulgaria’s most prestigious boxing events, and holds a strong tradition on the European sporting calendar. This particular instalment of the event was ideal preparation for the continent’s top athletes ahead of June’s European Games which are scheduled for Baku, Azerbaijan, while many Asian athletes also gained momentum ahead of a busy 2015. Amidst many excellent individual performances, Uzbekistan claimed an incredible five golds in the tournament. Athlete of the tournament Bulgaria’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Stoyka Petrova has been one of the best women’s Flyweight (52 kg) boxers in the world over the past two years, and lived up to her reputation with a gold medal. Following her close semifinal triumph over US boxer Virginia Fuchs, she had to meet with China’s threetime AIBA Women’s World Champion Ren Cancan for the gold. Petrova performed well against her technical rival, and controlled almost all of the rounds. The eventual result was a unanimous decision victory for Petrova, but Cancan also proved she is still world class in Sofia. Team of the tournament The head coach of Uzbekistan sent his best lineup to Bulgaria, where five of their boxers claimed the gold medal, with three further silver medalists. The average age of their five winners was just 21.2 years, which shows their great future potential. Abdulla Kuchkarov won the Light Flyweight class (49 kg) in the last edition of the Uzbek National Championships in Almalik three months ago when he defeated strong WSB boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov in the final, and 19yearold Kuchkarov added gold in Sofia after beating Israel’s David Alaverdian in the final. Shakhobiddin Zoirov was the silver medallist in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, and defeated England’s Jack Bateson to claim a gold. AIBA Youth World Championships silver medallist Murodjon Akhmadaliyev moved up to the Bantamweight class (56 kg) last year, and this time he was strong enough to beat all of his rivals including Kazakhstan’s Zhanbolat Tilegenuly in Sofia. Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner and AIBA Youth World Champion Bektemir Melikuziev is perhaps Uzbekistan’s most exciting talent, and he displayed his potential with a comfortable win over Michael O’Reilly. Uzbekistan’s fifth gold medal was delivered by AIBA World Championships quarterfinalist Rustam Tulaganov who defeated Ukraine’s Gevorg Manukyan in the final of the Heavyweight class (91 kg). Surprise of the tournament Finland’s threetime EU Championships bronze medallist Mira Potkonen is a veteran boxer, but caused a surprise against France’s Estelle Mossely in the semifinal of the Strandja Memorial Tournament. After that excellent victory, Potkonen then shockingly defeated Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Svetlana Kamenova Staneva in the Lightweight (60 kg) final. Ones to watch Sweden’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Agnes Alexiusson lost only two contests last year, and joined the elite age group this January. The 19yearold Swedish hope eliminated China’s Yang Wenlu in the semifinal and continued her winning path against Azerbaijan’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Elena Vystropova in the final. Stat/fact of the tournament Eight men’s boxers from Uzbekistan advanced to the final of the Strandja Memorial Tournament which is record in the history of the competition. Host nation Bulgaria secured four gold medals in the front of their home crowd, as Stoyka Petrova and Stanimira Petrova plus men’s boxers Simeon Chamov and Radoslav Pantaleev won their weight classes at the Universiade Hall.
List of the winners in Sofia Women’s 51 kg: Stoyka Petrova, Bulgaria Women’s 54 kg: Stanimira Petrova, Bulgaria Women’s 60 kg: Mira Potkonen, Finland Women’s 64 kg: Agnes Alexiusson, Sweden Women’s 75 kg: Li Qian, China Men’s 49 kg: Abdulla Kuchkarov, Uzbekistan
Men’s 52 kg: Shakhobiddin Zoirov, Uzbekistan Men’s 56 kg: Murodjon Akhmadaliyev, Uzbekistan Men’s 60 kg: Elvin Isayev, Azerbaijan Men’s 64 kg: Lorenzo Sotomayor, Azerbaijan Men’s 69 kg: Simeon Chamov, Bulgaria Men’s 75 kg: Bektemir Melikuziev, Uzbekistan Men’s 81 kg: Radoslav Pantaleev, Bulgaria Men’s 91 kg: Rustam Tulaganov, Uzbekistan Men’s +91 kg: Kamshybek Konkabayev, Kazakhstan
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