Kosovo’s Patriot Behrami continued his winning series at the Golden Gong Tournament10 November 2019
The 49th edition of the Golden Gong Tournament was held in North Macedonia’s capital city in Skopje where the three-day long competition was the highlight of the country’s boxing life. North Macedonia’s biggest international tournament saw strong finals in Skopje where the bests were Kosovo’s Patriot Behrami, Albania’s Alban Beqiri and the local hero Jasin Ljama.
The Technical Delegate of the Golden Gong Tournament was Mr. Dragoljub Radovic of Serbia. The key local officials as President Mr. Primislav Dimovski, Mr. Dushko Sachkarski and Mr. Branko Ilievski all supported strongly the success of the 49th Golden Gong Tournament in Skopje.
Bout of the finals
Kosovo’s Patriot Behrami is only a 20-year-old talent who has got strong experiences from the international stage. He was quarter-finalists at the Minsk 2019 European Games, attended at the 2018 Mediterranean Games and many other top events. The Kosovan No.1 had to meet for the gold medal with Serbia’s young talent Milan Vrankovic who defeated EUBC’s Don Emini in the semi-final of the welterweight (69kg). Kosovo’s pride felt the tempo well in their final but Vrankovic also landed nice combinations in the bout of the third competition day. The final verdict was split decision in the favour of Behrami who won his next international tournament proving that he has realistic chance to be qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Surprise of the finals
Kosovo’s Leutrim Rexhepi competed international events mainly in Albania, North Macedonia and his homeland in the recent two years. The Kosovan boxer claimed silver medal in the last edition of the Golden Gong Tournament which he changed to gold in Skopje this weekend. His final opponent was a more experienced boxer, Slovenia’s Nik Nikolov Veber but the Kosovan talent managed to win their contest in Skopje.
North Macedonia’s Jasin Ljama competed various international events including the Minsk 2019 European Games therefore he was the host nation’s best option to get title in the Golden Gong Tournament. The North Macedonian eliminated Kosovo’s Besfort Merlaku in the semi-finals of the lightweight (60kg) and dominated the first round of his final against Romania’s Norbert Vas. Ljama increased his rhythm against his Hungarian-descent opponent and the referee stopped their final in the second round.
Following Patriot Behrami’s impressive success, his teammate Shpetim Bajoku also amazed the crowd in the day of the finals. The 19-year-old Kosovan had tough junior and youth results and continued his winning path in the Golden Gong Tournament. The Minsk 2019 European Games competitor was too strong for North Macedonia’s Alim Nasufi and won all of the rounds in the scorecards.
Albania’s Alban Beqiri was a surprise in the 2016 Olympic Qualification Events when he defeated some top rivals and he was near to be qualified for Rio de Janeiro. The Albanian middleweight (75kg) boxer returned to the international events in top shape and defeated for the gold North Macedonia’s Arsim Etemi who had a narrow success over Kosovo’s 19-year-old strong Besart Pireva in the last four.
Serbia’s Sasa Milovac competed already at the Samokov 2015 EUBC European Boxing Championships who won the title of the light heavyweight (81kg) in Skopje following his success over Slovenia’s Luka Mejac. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Juraj Soldo claimed the last title of the Golden Gong Tournament following his dominancy over Romania’s Osvat Ionel at the super heavyweight (+91kg).