It’s already day 9 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Boxing Tournament. Today the Kokugikan Arena hosted the Women’s Fly (48-51kg), Men’s Feather (52-57kg), Men’s Super-Heavy (+91kg) and Men’s Middle (69-75kg) quarterfinals and Men’s Welter (63-69kg) and Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg) semifinals.
Talented 20-year-old Samuel TAKYI of Ghana put in place a memorable performance, today, winning over Ceiber David AVILA SEGURA (COL) to advance in the Olympic Tournament and securing at least a bronze medal in the Men’s Feather (52-57kg) division.
The medal, regardless of its color, will be Ghana’s first at the Olympic Games since the men’s football team claimed bronze at Barcelona 1992. The medal will also be Ghana’s first in boxing since middleweight Prince AMARTEY took bronze at Munich 1972, and their fourth in all.
“I’m very, very happy. I give thanks to God. I’m very happy because Ghana has not taken a boxing medal for nearly 50 years,” TAKYI said. “So now I’m the first with the Olympic medal. I really thank God very much, and I also thank my coaches and anybody who support me.”
“I’ve dyed my hair a gold color. I’m going to make history and I’m going to win the gold color,” he also added. “I’m going to take the gold here.”
Right after, in the same weight category, United States of America’s Duke RAGAN clinched a 3:2 split decision win after a hard-fought bout against Ireland’s Kurt Anthony WALKER. He will join TAKYI in the semifinal on Tuesday 3 August.
It was a memorable day also for Team GB, that is assured three medals as Benjamin WHITTAKER (GBR), Frazer CLARKE and Pat McCORMACK all advanced in the brackets of the Tokyo 2020 Boxing Olympic tournament.
The Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg) semifinal saw Benjamin WHITTAKER (GBR) put on an impressive show defeating Imam KHATAEV of the Russian Olympic Committee. The 24-year-old from Great Britain will jump on the ring for his Olympic gold medal match on Saturday 4 August. His opponent will be revealed in today’s afternoon session.
In the Men’s Super-Heavy (+91kg) class, the 29-year-old from Burton-On-Trent (GBR) Frazer CLARKE, progressed in the semifinal due to the disqualification of his opponent Mourad ALIEV of France. Next up for the British boxer will be the top-seed JALOLOV Bakhodir from Uzbekistan who keeps advancing in the Olympic Tournament after his second 5:0 victory in a row, this round over Satish KUMAR of India.
Last but not least, Pat McCORMACK will walk on the ring in the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) division on Tuesday 3 August, passing through the semifinal without even wearing the gloves, as result of a walk-over. Unfortunately, Ireland’s Aidan WALSH was forced out of the match due to an ankle injury.
It has been a successful morning also for the Women’s Fly (48-51kg) division’s top seed Buse Naz CAKIROGLU (TUR) who advances in the semifinal owing to a 5:0 victory over Jutamas ITPONG of Thailand.
“I am really feeling emotional but as a team we came here to get the gold medal, we want to write the history by getting the gold medal and we hope to do it. But I am really emotional.”
CAKIROGLU, speaking about what getting a medal will mean for inspiring female boxers in Turkey, said:
“We were already on this road by getting good scores, good results in the European championship, world championship and there are little girls that come to my house to get my signature. I believe that by getting successful in the Olympics, this will increase, and we will inspire more little girls.”
The Turkish boxer and 2019 European Games champion will meet the number #4 seed from Chinese Taipei Hsiao-Wen HUANG who triumphed in her quarterfinal match against Nina RADOVANOVIC (SRB). HUANG will become the first boxer from Chinese Taipei to win an Olympic medal.
“It is unbelievable. It’s a very proud moment for me. I have been getting lots of support from all my family. Now that I have won a medal my family will not be so worried and nervous about me.”
HUANG also explained how she used her height advantage over her opponent: “My height advantage is the main reason I’m winning. It is a good tactic I can use; I can keep my distance while throwing punches. I was confident that I would win the match throughout the fight.”
Later in the session, Ukraine’s top runner Oleksandr KHYZHNIAK moved into the semifinals of the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) division and is one win away from the gold medal as he defeated Euri CEDENO MARTINEZ of the Dominican Republic by 4:1. He has now to meet Eumir MARCIAL of the Philippines, who earned a thrilling victory by knocking out his opponent Arman DARCHINYAN (ARM) in round 1.
The action continues at 5:00 PM at the Kokugikan Arena with ten additional bouts to be contested.
Event schedule and results
Find the event schedule and the results here.