Jelena Zekic and Nina Radovanovic are the Serbian heroes at the Belgrade Winner Tournament28 April 2021
Two female and eight male final contests have been held in the fifth and last competition day at the 58th edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Serbia’s female duo Jelena Zekic and Nina Radovanovic won their weight categories while England’s Frazer Clarke has done revenge due to a previous loss.
Belgrade will be the host of the next edition of the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships in the end of November therefore many of the countries decided to test the environment during the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Altogether 35 nations attended in the Belgrade Winner Tournament representing four Confederations in Serbia.
The women boxers could attend in 10 weight categories while the male athletes competed in the 8 Olympic divisions. The number of the women boxers was 87 while 121 men participants competed for the medals in the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Strong boxing nations as Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, England, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Scotland, Morocco, Tunisia, Wales, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan all attended in Belgrade.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Serbia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Belgrade Winner Tournament.
The bout of the day
England’s Frazer Clarke is one of the best super heavyweight (+91kg) boxers in the world who has got 12 years of experiences in the international competitions. The Commonwealth Games winner boxer returned in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament two months ago and he won that event. Clarke continued his preparation for the upcoming European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and the Belgrade Winner Tournament was his next step in that road. Clarke met in a unique final with Russia’s veteran Maksim Babanin which was repeat match between them after Yekaterinburg. The tough English landed strong punches and his pressurizing strategy delivered the opposite results this time, Clarke won the final by split decision in Belgrade.
The surprise of the day
Russia’s Timur Gamzatov is a 25-year-old boxer from the city of Tula who competed mostly in national and regional events in the recent nine years. Gamzatov enjoyed his chance to compete in the Belgrade Winner Tournament and delivered the main sensation of the final day. The Russian heavyweight (91kg) hope defeated Kazakhstan’s Olympic Games silver medallist veteran Vasiliy Levit in a hectic final contest.
Serbia’s Nina Radovanovic is their best elite boxer who was near to get a medal in the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. The Serbian flyweight (51kg) boxer was well-prepared to the Belgrade Winner Tournament and advanced to the final of the event after several big battles. Radovanovic is smaller than most of her rivals and used her energetic boxing in the final against England’s Charley Davison. The Serbian pressurized her returning English opponent and claimed the gold medal of the category.
Radovanovic’s teammate, Jelena Zekic was also quarter-finalist in big European events and the 22-year-old boxer also proved her very best in Belgrade. Zekic moved down to the bantamweight (54kg) which is more comfortable for her physical conditions and defeated all of her rivals in narrow contests. Zekic had another young opponent in the final, Italy’s Gulia Lamagna and this time the Serbian was slightly better in the exchanges. Both boxers can meet once again in the upcoming EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships.
Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov is a two-time European Champion boxer at the flyweight (52kg) but this time he competed at the featherweight (57kg) in Belgrade. The 24-year-old Bulgarian eliminated Hungary’s Roland Galos in the semi-finals and he was the favourite also against Kyrgyzstan’s Akylbek Esenbek Uulu. Asenov had to reduce the fighting distance against the promising Kyrgyz boxer and he has done it successfully in most of the final contest.
England’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Benjamin Whittaker eliminated Montenegro’s Petar Marcic in the semi-finals of the light heavyweight (81kg) and repeated that performance in the final. Whittaker used his sensational footwork in the final against Kazakhstan’s AIBA Youth World Champion Nurbek Oralbay and celebrated his gold medal in Belgrade.