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7th Women's World Boxing Championship - and only Olympic qualifier
By Michael O’Neill
May 11, 2012
Draw Sheets  [1] [2] [3]

(MAY 11) The 7th edition of the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships got under way at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Stadium, in Qinhuangdao, China Friday where some 343 contestants from 77 are scheduled to take part, a new record for the event . In three weight categories, Flyweight 51kg, Lightweight 60kg, and Middleweight 75kg, there is even more than the world title at stake since the top eight in each, automatically qualify for a place in the 30th Olympiad in London later this Summer.

Host nation, China has entered all ten weight divisions, so too Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Turkey and Ukraine, while the United States, Canada, France, Romania and Kenya all send nine representatives each. Vietnam and Australia supply eight whilst seven each from Germany, Poland, Serbia, DPR Korea and Venezuela have entered this qualification event.

That women’s boxing continues to attract new nations can be seen from fact that for the first time Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, DR Congo, Honduras, Jamaica, Nigeria, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uzbekistan have entered at least one boxer.

Sadly still no entry from Cuba or Saudi Arabia to name but two who have yet to embrace the sport.

On Friday, the AIBA announced the seeds for the various weight categories so let us look at those in the three Olympic weights.

Firstly at 51kg (55 participating) : 1.Cancan Ren, China 2. Nicola Adams,England 3.Elena Savelyeva ,Russia 4.Karolina Michalczuk, Poland 5. Tetyana Kob, Ukraine , 6.Steluta Duta, Romania 7.Mery Kom Hmangte, India 8.Marlen Esparza, USA

Next to 60kg : (58 entries) : 1. Katie Taylor, Ireland 2. Gulsum Tatar, Turkey 3.Cheng Dong,China 4.Tassamalee Thongjan, Thailand 5.Karolina Graczyk, Poland , 6.Adriana dos Santos, Brazil 7.Quanitta Underwood USA, 8.Denitsa Eliseeva , Bulgaria

Finally to 75kg: (40 contestants): 1.Mary Spencer, Canada. 2.Nazezda Torlopova,Russia 3. Jinzi Li, China 4.Roseli Amaral Feitosa, Brazil 5.Liliya Durneyva, Ukraine 6.Savannah Marshall, England. 7.Nouchka Fontijn, Netherlands 8. Maria Kovacs, Hungary

Surprises? Canada’s Mandy Bujold misses out at 51kg but the real ‘shock omissions’ come in the other two Olympic categories. At 60kg, amazingly no place for Russia’s two times World champion Sofya Ochigava nor for England’s Natasha Jonas , while at 75kg, U.S Olympic Trials winner, Claressa Shields misses out despite her recent convincing victory over Canada’s top ranked, Mary Spencer. Whilst most experts predicted Spencer would be at no.1 – and deservedly so -equally despite her inexperience, Shields was tipped for a top 4 seeding. Her first real test is expected to be against Hartlepool’s ‘silent assassin’ Savannah Marshall (representing England) on Monday evening. Marshall was a silver medallist in Barbados 2010 albeit at a lower weight.

To a large extent the absence of these ‘high profile’ fighters from the seedings serves but to demonstrate the current strength of women's boxing but anyone ‘writing off’ the chances of such as Ochigava, Jonas, Bujold or Shields does so at their peril.

Ireland’s Katie Taylor, seeking a fourth successive 60kg title has a first round bye – the draw was also made Friday – and on Monday meets either Tunisian, Rim Jouini or Portugal’s Juliana Canedo da Rocha. Second seed ,Turkey’s Gulsum Tatar who has moved down to 60kg , also has a bye and this is followed again on Monday by a bout against Ayzanat Hajiyeva of Azerbaijan or India’s Asian titleholder Sarita Laishram Devi, the type of bout that neither boxer would have wished for this early in the tournament. Quanitta Underwood begins her quest for an Olympic place on Saturday (12th) against Argentina’s Dayana Sanchez . Arguably the biggest surprise in the 60kg event, apart from Ochigava’s omission, is the no 4 ranking of Thailand’s Tassamalee Thongjan, who normally competes at 57kg and was bronze medal winner at the last world championships in Barbados.

Five times champion Mery Kom Hmangte now competes in the 51kg classification though only ranked at no.7. Most boxing fans will be willing her on to gain a place in London 2012 but she is in the same half of the draw as England’s Nikki Adams who has been in superb form of late. An interesting point here is that England and Wales have both entered teams in China whereas in the Olympics they (and Scotland) compete under the Great Britain flag.

A reminder that the AIBA announced that boxing would be separated into men and women events at its 13th congress held in Beijing in 1994. The first official international amateur tournament for women boxers was then held in 1997 with the inaugural AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships taking place four years later in Scranton, USA. After six successful editions, AIBA is now organising the first Olympic qualification tournament for women boxers in conjunction with the event in Qinhuangdao.

Following the International Olympic Committee's decision in 2009 to include women's boxing into the Olympic program, the sport has reached a new phase in its development with a huge increase in the number of participants worldwide.

Draw Sheets  [1] [2] [3] Download PDF Forms

We end, courtesy of AIBA, with a review of the opening day in Qinhuangdao.

“The most anticipated AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships Qinhuangdao 2012 started this Friday 11 May in China with 57kg and 69kg advancing to the Last 16.

On the opening contest of the worldwide event, India's two-time National Champion Mandakini Chanu Kangabam did not give too many chances to Serbia's Silesian Open Tournament silver medallist Bojana Ranic. The Indian boxer led by 10:3 after the first two minutes and finally the referee stopped their unequal fight in the third round.

Chinese Taipei's former Asian Champion Chen Chia Ling returned to the world of boxing last year and regained her place in the national squad. She proved in her first contest that she is a top fighter in the featherweight class and overwhelmed Australia's AIBA Junior World Championships quarter-finalist 17-year-old Skye Nicolson in Qinhuangdao.

Turkey's four-time European Championships bronze medallist Nagehan Malkoc Gul fought against Bulgaria's former European Youth Champion and EU Championships silver medallist 22-year-old Svetlana Kamenova Staneva in the first preliminary round. The taller Bulgarian boxer opened with a 4:1 lead while the Turkish athlete did not find the best fighting distance therefore Staneva's victory is not a surprise.

Hungary's AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist Kornelia Kitti Nagy who celebrated her 17th birthday just before her first elite competition, had a brave attempt to beat Mexico's Independence Cup silver medallist tough Cynthia Robles. The Central American boxer started better the bout and made a great last round when her teenager rival was too tired to turn the battle.

Japan's multiple National Champion veteran Nana Yoshikawa won each of the rounds in her debut contest against Kenya's best featherweight boxer Rebah Matanda. The final verdict of their bout was 22:10 to Yoshikawa who advanced to the last 16 in the AIBA Women's World Championships and will now meet England's European Championships silver medallist Lisa Whiteside who was seeded as No.3.

Canada's Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament bronze medallist Melissa Guillemette led by 4:2 after the first tactical round against Denmark's newly crowned Nordic Champion 22-year-old Sarah Mahfoud. Guillemette showed excellent footwork in her first contest and that performance was enough to beat Mahfoud by 15:7.

Vietnam's current AIBA Junior World Champion 16-year-old Vuong Thi Vy who is member of the 'AIBA Road to London Program' had an easy opening contest in Qinhuangdao. Vietnam's best future hope proved that her present is also great and she increased her boxing knowledge in the UK in the Winter. Her first rival was Croatia's National Champion Annamarija Vujaklija who had no chance to beat her teenager opponent.

France's 22-year-old Malva Hammadouche who had several victories in the international level last year, showed her great technique against Germany's EU Championships bronze medallist Maike Klueners in the first preliminary round. The French boxer and her ringside found the winning tactic in the third round and eliminated her neighbouring rival by 29:18.

Russia's European Championships bronze medallist Viktoriya Gurkovich outpointed her first opponent in Qinhuangdao, Slovakia's only competitor in the event, 18-year-old Piroska Bodoki who has got only five contests in her career. The referee stopped their contest very quickly to save Bodoki's health.

At the welterweight class India's Asian Women's Cup bronze medallist Neetu Chahal advanced to the last 16 after beating Hungary's EU Champion 23-year-old Bianka Nagy who is member of the national team since 2006. The Indian boxer dominated during their contest and won the bout by a large margin of points.

Reigning US National Champion Raquel Miller who has been boxing since only 2010, also secured her place in the last 16 at the welterweight class following her success over New Zealand's best future hope, Arafura Games winner 18-year-old Daena Stephenson. Miller's next opponent will be Canada's Panamerican Champion Myriam Da Silva in the next preliminary round.

So ends the first day in China with the ‘big guns’ entering tomorrow when among those in action will be Quanitta Underwood against Argentinian rival Dayana Sanchez at 60kg.

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