Nikolina Cacic is the first Croatian woman boxer who won a contest in an Olympic Games26 July 2021
The boxing tournament of the Tokyo Olympic Games began with two sessions in the first day of the event. Twenty-seven bouts were held in the opening day which delivered several surprises in the Games. Ireland’s Kurt Walker won the best European battle in the first session but the main surprise was delivered by Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic.
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
Ireland’s European Games winner Kurt Walker started well in the tactical first round against Spain’s Jose Quiles who claimed bronze at the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Boxing Championships. The Irish featherweight (57kg) boxer controlled the opening three minutes but the Spanish ringside with their two-time Olympic Games medallist coach Mr. Rafael Lozano changed the rhythm in time. Quiles, who had several injuries in the recent two years, was more active in the second therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the third round. The 26-year-old Irish felt that he has to regain the control once again, produced an impressive third round and won the bout by unanimous decision.
The surprise of the day
Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic claimed silver medal at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Budapest three years ago and she is the first female boxer from her country who qualified for the Olympic Games. The 20-year-old Croatian tried to use her height against United States’ Cuban-descent Yarisel Ramirez in her opening contest at the featherweight (57kg). The US boxer was not able to deliver her previous performance and Cacic won a historical Olympic contest for Croatia.
Poland’s European Games winner Karolina Koszewska is one of the tallest boxers at the women’s welterweight (69kg) and she is a difficult opponent for all rivals. The 39-year-old Polish boxer returned to the competitions in time to qualify for the Olympic Games. Koszewska impressed in the first round against Uzbekistan’s Shakhnoza Yunusova who is currently only No.3 in her country in this category behind Navbakhor Khamidova and Khadijabonu Abdullaeva. Yunusova did not feel the distance in their contest and Koszewska’s long-range tactic delivered a clear success for her.
Belarus’ Aliaksandr Radzionau was born in 2000 but he has got already more than 170 contests and proved strong developments in the recent two years. The Belarusian welterweight (69kg) boxer did not find the best fighting distance against Turkey’s Necat Ekinci in the first round but he received strong advices after three minutes. Radzionau changed his rhythm in the second and he has done a great run in the third to decide their narrow contest in Tokyo.
Italy’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Irma Testa is one of the gold medal contenders at the women’s featherweight (57kg) and started well in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Italian star defeated the Russian boxer, Liudmilla Vorontsova in the preliminary round of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event one and half month ago. The 24-year-old Italian, who had already Olympic experiences from Rio de Janeiro, repeated her performance and eliminated Vorontsova once again, this time in Tokyo.
Great Britain’s Karriss Artingstall amazed in the recent two years following she worked hard in the Army to reach the level of the top athletes. The 27-year-old featherweight (57kg) boxer was too strong for Botswana’s Keamogetse Sadie Kenosi which she proved already in the first round. Artingstall found the best attacking angles from the first seconds and controlled their exchanges in Tokyo. The judges had an easy job in their contest and Artingstall secured her place in the next stage of boxing.
Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor claimed silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and since then the veteran moved up to the welterweight (69kg). The tall ex-Cuban boxer met with Georgia’s 13-years-younger Eskerkhan Madiev who used the perfect tactic against Sotomayor. The EUBC E22 European Champion Georgian was aggressive against the 36-year-old Azeri and reduced the fighting distance successfully. Madiev landed high number of clear shots in the third and the ringside doctor confirmed the Georgian success.