Europe produced a fantastic competition day in Tokyo earning eight medals30 July 2021
Further twenty-four contests were held in the seventh competition day at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan on Friday. Eight European boxers from Russian Olympic Committee, Great Britain, Ireland, Azerbaijan and Turkey earned medals today following their successes in the quarter-finals.
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
Following Harrington’s success, one of her rivals for the title, Great Britain’s Youth Olympic Games winner and AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Caroline Dubois had to step into the ring to show her outstanding technical skills. The 20-year-old super talented boxer was a hard target for United States’ Rashida Ellis who tried to catch Dubois with her hooks. The US boxer was highly competitive for Dubois but received double shots from longer distance. Ellis was able to change her strategy and performed strongly in the third but Dubois kept her advantage to make the quarter-finals.
Ireland’s Kellie Harrington is the seed No.1 at the women’s lightweight (60kg) in the Tokyo Olympic Games and she had to wait for seven competition days to make her debut in Japan. The Irish girl won the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. Harrington met with Italy’s 22-year-old Rebecca Nicoli in the opening bout of the seventh competition day and she was too quick for her rival. The Irish boxer danced through the ring and kept her younger Italian opponent on long starting superbly in the Olympic Games.
Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko won her debuting contest in the Tokyo Olympic Games but her quarter-final opponent was Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, the reigning AIBA Women’s World Champion who won the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. The Turkish welterweight (69kg) boxer was highly confident, moved ahead with great enthusiasm and caught the experienced Ukrainian. Surmeneli’s heavy shots continued in the second round and she produced her best in the third therefore Turkey claimed its first Olympic medal in women’s boxing.
Great Britain’s first medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games was achieved by Karriss Artingstall at the women’s featherweight (57kg) and their male No.1, Pat McCormack had the same objective in the seventh competition day. McCormack, who claimed silver in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships, met with Uzbekistan’s three-time Asian Champion Bobo-Usmon Baturov and expected a hard battle. The Uzbek developed his technical skills well enough in the recent months but he was competitive only in the first round before McCormack increased his tempo. The British boxer won their contest by split decision and secured his nation’s second medal in the Olympic Games.
Aidan Walsh had an emotional moment at the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in Paris when he earned the spot for Tokyo. The Irish welterweight (69kg) boxer not only qualified for the Games but he had the motivation to make his next career highlight. Walsh had a luck in the draw, his bracket was easier than many of the top boxers and used this advantage to take a medal for Ireland. Walsh used his longer reach effectively in the first round against Mauritius’ Rio Olympian Merven Clair and despite of the difficult second round the Irish boxer defeated his African rival with strong finish.
Russian Olympic Committee’s Imam Khataev qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games winning the Box-off in Paris. The Russian light heavyweight (81kg) boxer arrived to Tokyo in better form and used his energetic attacks to shock his opponents. Khataev landed tough punches and multiple shots in the first round against Spain’s Gazimagomed Jalidov who had also Russian roots. Khataev demonstrated his power in the second round and after his big blow, he knocked out the Spaniard in the third earning a medal in the Olympic Games.
Great Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker amazed the boxing experts already at the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships at the age of 20 and he moved ahead in the rankings step by step. The 24-year-old British light heavyweight (81kg) boxer met with an opponent, who has got the same technical and tactical repertoires, Brazil’s Keno Marley Machado. The Youth Olympic Games winner younger Brazilian was patient in the first round and used Whittaker’s best weapons. The British boxer had wonderful footwork as all of his previous contests and his virtuoso style of boxing was effective to win the quarter-final against a top rival in Tokyo.
Russian Olympic Committee’s top male boxer, Muslim Gadzhimagomedov is the defending AIBA World Champion and European Games winner at the men’s heavyweight (91kg). The Russian boxer used his longer hands and distance well in the quarter-final of the Games against Germany’s Ammar Abduljabbar. The smaller German was never stopped attacking and he tried to keep the pressure in all of the three rounds but Gadzhimagomedov knew how to handle this tactical job in their contest. The Russian claimed his nation’s second medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games and will be meeting with New Zealand’s two-time Commonwealth Games winner David Nyika in a highly anticipated contest.
Turkey’s Esra Yildiz used her excellent technical skills in the Qualifier and earned a spot for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Turkish lightweight (60kg) boxer met with Argentina’s experienced Dayana Sanchez who joined to their national team still in 2010. Her South American rival tried to use her longer reach in the first round against Yildiz but the Turkish boxer controlled most of the exchanges especially in the second. Yildiz worked well in the contest and marched to the quarter-finals following her teammates, Busenaz Cakiroglu and Busenaz Surmeneli.
Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen had a tough opponent in the last 16 of the women’s welterweight (60kg), she had to meet with South Korea’s Asian Games winner and two-time ASBC Asian Women’s Champion Oh Yeon Ji. The Finnish veteran landed punches from all of the possible angles and dictated the tempo in the first round while Oh tried to keep the distance. Potkonen is the most experienced boxer in the whole world in this category and she knew how to handle the quick Korean. The Finnish boxer used infighting style in the third round, did not let Oh to move more on feet therefore Potkonen advanced to the quarter-finals.
Russian Olympic Committee’s AIBA World Champion Andrei Zamkovoy is one of the most experienced male boxers at the men’s welterweight (69kg) who won his first international event still in 2005. He claimed bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and after his quarter-final in Tokyo, the Russian can repeat at least that performance. Zamkovoy maintained the best fighting distance against Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev and controlled all of the three rounds in this quarter-final. Loren Berto Alfonso represented Cuba until 2017 and after that he switched to Azerbaijan in time to get the gold medal at the Minsk 2019 European Games. The ex-Cuban light heavyweight (81kg) boxer did not find the best fighting distance against Turkey’s Bayram Malkan in the first round. The Turkish boxer used his nice technical skills in the opening minutes but Alfonso changed his rhythm and his attacking style was more successful in the second round. The Turkish boxer was counted in the middle of the bout and it was the turning point of their contest therefore Azerbaijan’s pride advanced to the semi-finals.