Paris, 8 June 2021 – The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier came to an end, today, 8 June 2021. The event which had started last year in London (GBR) and was stopped after day 3 of competition, to then resume in the French capital on 4 June 2021 distributed a grand total of 77 Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota places, which went to 21 different countries (61 quotas were awarded here in Paris, 16 in London, last year).
Great Britain secured the highest number of Tokyo 2020 slots, claiming four women’s quotas and seven men’s quotas, qualifying a total of 11 athletes (two in London and nine here in Paris). The Russian Olympic Committee followed in second, with 10 quota places (three women’s quotas, seven men’s quotas), while Ireland followed in third with a three men’s and three women’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths.
168 boxers from 37 countries competed here at Le Grand Dome, in the outskirts of Paris. After 170 bouts conducted in four days, today it was all about the medals, and the ranking points that will be used to seed boxers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (being among the top-seeded athletes means a better position in the Tokyo draw).
Thirteen finals were scheduled to take place today (day 5 of competition), across all the Olympic weight categories. Two medal matches were not disputed, as Rio 2016 Silver medallist, Sofiane Oumiha of France, won gold in the Men’s Light (57-63kg) final, and Azerbaijan’s Loren Alfonso Dominguez finished atop of the Light Heavy (75-81kg)’s podium by walkover.
Host country France celebrated the victory of Mouras Aliev, who won the Men’s Superheavy (+91kg) gold medal match by points, beating Great Britain’s Frazer Clarke. In the first round, the French boxer gave Frazer a standing count, and continued leading throughout the bout, alternating great defence and powerful blasts. His teammate Billal Bennama claimed gold in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg) event, beating Great Britain’s Galal Yafai after the second round, as the referee ordered to count the points after a cut. Today’s fourth French finalist, Samuel Kistohurry, lost to Russia’s Albert Batyrgaziev in the in the Men’s Feather (54-57kg) event.
It turned out to be an overall great day also for Great Britain, with seven athletes entered in 13 finals, eventually walking out of Le Grand Dome with two gold and five silver medals. It was once again #1 seeded Pat McCormack and Lauren Price who finished in the spotlights, winning the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) and the Women’s Middle (69-75kg) finals.
McCormack went against Russia’s Andrei Zamekovoi, in a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final that was won by the Russian on his home turf. It wasn’t an easy one as for the first time in this Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier, the British boxer gave the impression he could lose the match. After a slow start, he took advantage of his unmatchable speed in the third and last fraction of the bout, to win by unanimous decision.
Price confirmed to be the best European boxer in her weight class, claiming gold in the final against Russia’s Zenfira Magomedalieva (seeded #3).
Russia’s Heavyweight (81-91kg) finalist Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, the #1 seeded boxer in the qualifier, confirmed to be one of world’s bests in the event, as he outscored Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes Pla by unanimous decision to secure gold. The second top-seeded Russian athlete competing here today, Gleb Bakshi, lost the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) final to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, who clinched a split decision in his favour.
Turkey claimed two gold medals, to close this qualifier in style. In the Women’s Fly (48-51kg) event, Buse Naz Cakiroglu had the best of Great Britain’s Charley-Sian Davison. Her teammate Busenaz Surmeneli dominated the Women’s Welter (64-69kg) final, winning by a unanimous decision over Germany’s Nadine Apetz.
In the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) event, two-time world champion Irma Testa of Italy left no chances to Irish boxer Michaela Walsh – who had walked into this qualifier as the second-best ranked athlete – winning by unanimous decision. Later in the day, Ireland collected a gold medal in the Women’s Light (57-60kg) event, thanks to the stamina of Kellie Harrington, who controlled Great Britain’s Caroline Dubois throughout a nervous final to win by points.
Coming in next are the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, kicking-off on the 24th of July. Check the complete Boxing schedule on the Olympics.com website.
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The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier was broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. News, photos and results can be found on online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.