A total of 50 bouts took place on Day 2 of the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Olympic Qualifier. The English capital is the stage where 318 athletes (219 men and 99 women) from 43 countries are competing for 77 Olympic quota places in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events).
The opening bout of the day saw a dominant performance in Ring A from the Italian, Irma TESTA in the Women’s Feather (54 – 57kg); the current European champion beat a former European silver medallist – Sandra BRUGGER of Switzerland – with a unanimous 5-0 victory. Testa said after the fight:
“I felt good, it was my first bout and the first one is always the most difficult because of the tension. I am now very excited to have the chance to go forward in the tournament; I want to reach at least at the semi-finals and grab my pass for Tokyo.” The 22-year-old Italian added: “My next opponent will be Russia’s Liudmilla VORONTSOVA, who claimed silver in the last Women’s World Boxing Championships, but I defeated her in 2019. She’s more experienced, so I have to be at my best.”
In the Men’s Lightweight (57 – 63kg), Russia’s Gabil MAMEDOV advanced to the next round by defeating his Georgian rival, the U22 European Champion, Lasha GURULI. Mamdeov gave his thoughts after the bout:
“I knew the Georgian boxer well and I built up a strong strategy against him. The first round wasn’t perfect, but I received good advice in the break and improved from the second round. Now I am looking forward to my next bout here (which will be against the number-one seed, Hovhannes BACHKOV of Armenia)”.
Later in the Light Heavyweight (75-81kg), Switzerland’s 27-year-old boxer, Uke SMAJLI, overcame a points penalty, for using his head in the second round, to eventually beat Greece’s Polyneikis KALAMARAS, 4-1. In the same weight category, the tournament’s number four- seeded Umar DZAMBEKOV (AUT) suffered a surprise 3-2 loss. His Croatian opponent, Luka PLANTIC was cheered on by a number of local fans in the Copper Box Arena as he proceeded to the next round.
The 60th bout of the weekend came during the evening session in Ring A, where the number-one seeded boxer in the Women’s Welter (64 – 69kg), Busenaz SURMENELI (TUR), made light work of her opponent, Elina Orvokki GUSTAFSSON (FIN). It was a unanimous 5-0 win for the current world champion from Turkey.
In the same weight category, number 3 seed Angela CARINI (ITA), who won a silver medal at last year’s World Championships in Russia, dominated her bout against the Irish boxer, Christina DESMOND, claiming a unanimous 5-0 win. It was the same result for 38-year-old Karolina KOSZWESKA (POL), who beat Madeline ANGELSEN (NOR). The Polish boxer had a 10-year professional career, took a hiatus and is now back as an amateur hoping to compete in what would be her final Olympic Games.
2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie ECCLES (GBR) lost her evening clash against number four-seeded Saadat DALGATOVA (RUS). It was a 4-1 split decision, with four of the judges scoring the bout 29:28 in favour of the Russian.
Today (Monday 16 March) will see another 55 preliminary bouts at the Copper Box Arena. However due to the changing situation with the coronavirus, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has made the difficult but necessary decision to hold the rest of the tournament behind closed doors, effective immediately. No spectators will be permitted to attend any of the remaining sessions. The action will begin today at 12 p.m. (find the detailed competition’s schedule here).
Follow the action live
Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Russian. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.
News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated London qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.