Today marked the semifinals of the boxing tournament at the III European Games in Krakow and Malapolska, held at the Nowy Targ Arena from June 23 to July 2.
After six days of competition and a day-off to reconfigure the arena from two rings to one, the afternoon session determined the finalists in the Women’s 54kg, 60kg, and 66kg, as well as the Men’s 51kg, 63.5kg, 80kg, and 92kg weight categories.
Moreover, four Paris 2024 Olympic quota places were at stake in the afternoon session, with two each in the Men’s 51kg and 92kg categories. According to the boxing qualification system for Paris 2024, only two quotas will be awarded in these two weight classes at the European Games, meaning only the gold and silver medalists will secure a ticket to Paris. Four more quotas will be distributed tonight during the evening session to the winners of the Women’s 75kg and Men’s +92kg semifinals.
In the first semifinal of the day, Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova triumphed over Great Britain’s hopeful Charley-Sian Taylor Davison with a unanimous decision, in the Women’s 54kg weight class. Petrova impressed boxing experts at the European Games, progressing through the tournament with three consecutive 5-0 victories. In the final scheduled for July 1, Petrova will face Romania’s Lenuta Lacramioara Perijoc, who secured her spot in the gold medal match with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Turkey’s Hatice Akbas. All four semifinalists had already secured a Paris 2024 Olympic quota place on June 28 by reaching the semifinals.
In the Women’s 60kg category, the highly anticipated clash between the 2020 and 2016 Olympic Champions ended in favor of Ireland’s Tokyo 2020 gold medalist, Kellie Harrington. She delivered a commanding performance, defeating France’s Rio 2016 champion Estelle Mossely with a resounding 5-0 score. Harrington seemed inspired by competing against one of the world’s best athletes in her category, elevating her boxing to another level compared to her previous bouts in the European Games tournament, where she had secured two split decisions out of three. In the final, Harrington will meet Serbia’s Natalia Shadrina, who earned her place in the gold medal match with a 4-1 split decision victory over Turkey’s Gizem Ozer. All four semifinalists have already claimed a Paris 2024 Olympic slot.
Belgium’s Oshing Derieuw took center stage in the first Women’s 66kg semifinal, comfortably defeating Hungary’s Anna Luca Hamori with a unanimous decision from the judges. Derieuw, a professional boxer, displayed exceptional confidence in the ring, showcasing the tremendous work she and her team had put in over the past months and weeks to adapt to the Olympic-style boxing. However, her path to the top of the European Games podium will feature a formidable opponent: Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, the 2020 Olympic Champion. Surmeneli secured her place in the final with a 4-1 split decision victory over Great Britain’s Rosie Joy Eccles, demonstrating her skills and power in the third round. With both boxers already holding Olympic quotas, their final is one of the most highly anticipated matches of the tournament.
In the Men’s 51kg category, France’s Billal Bennama, the 2022 European Champion, claimed the first Olympic qualification slot of the day by defeating Great Britain’s Kiaran Bradley MacDonald with a unanimous 5-0 score in the semifinals. Bennama will now face Turkey’s Samet Gumus, who secured a 4-1 victory over Italy’s Federico Emilio Serra to earn a place in the final and secure the second available Paris 2024 quota.
Another French boxer, Rio 2016 silver medalist Sofiane Oumiha, took the spotlight in the Men’s 63.5kg semifinals. The experienced athlete outscored Ireland’s rising star Dean Clancy with a commanding 5-0 victory, setting up a final against Georgia’s Lasha Guruli, who prevailed 5-0 against Hungary’s Richard Kovacs.
In the Men’s 80kg event, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak left no chance for his Italian opponent Salvatore Cavallaro, winning by a 5-0 unanimous decision with all judges scoring 10/9 in every round. Croatia’s Gabrijel Veocic will boxe Khyzhniak in tomorrow evening’s final after securing a 5-0 victory over Azerbaijan’s Murad Allahverdiyev.
Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine dashed Poland’s hopes as he defeated local favorite Mateusz Bereznicki with a unanimous decision, dominating all three rounds with a dodge-and-hit style reminiscent of Cuban boxing. Mouhiidine fulfilled his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games, as today’s victory secured him a ticket to Paris. Moving forward in the tournament, he will face Ireland’s Jack Marley. In one of the most intense fights of the day, Marley overcame Spain’s Enmanuel Reyes Pla with a 4-1 decision, claiming the second Paris 2024 quota place up for grabs. The Spanish athlete had clearly won the first round, while the second round leaned in Marley’s favor. Therefore, the outcome was determined in the third round, where Marley gave his all to secure a slot at the next Games.
The boxing tournament of the III European Games serves as a continental qualifier for the Boxing Road to Paris series supervised by the Paris 2024 Boxing Unit (PBU). A total of 44 Olympic quota places were up for grabs in Nowy Targ, with the majority of 40 already distributed. The remaining four quotas will be awarded tonight during the evening session in the Women’s 75kg and Men’s +92kg categories.
Paris 2024 Boxing Olympic Quota places awarded today, by event:
Paris 2024 Boxing Olympic Quota places awarded at the European Games, by event:
Paris 2024 Boxing Olympic Quota places awarded at the Euopean Games, by country:
France, 6 Quota Places:
Turkey, 6 Quota Places:
Ireland, 4 Quota Places:
Italy, 4 Quota Places:
Bulgaria, 3 Quota Places:
Belgium, 2 Quota Places:
Hungary, 2 Quota Places:
Great Britain, 2 Quota Places:
Serbia, 2 Quota Places:
Spain, 2 Quota Places:
Azerbaijan, 1 Quota Place:
Croatia,1 Quota Place:
Denmark, 1 Quota Place:
Georgia, 1 Quota Place:
Romania, 1 Quota Place:
Sweden, 1 Quota Place:
Ukraine, 1 Quota Place: