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She Came, She Saw, She Conquered .... Katie Taylor Makes It Six-In-A-Row In Bucharest
by Michael O'Neill
June 8, 2014
     
   
   


 

(JUNE 8) The 2014, ninth edition of the EUBC Women’s Elite Championships came to a close at the Polyvalent Arena in Bucharest Saturday with no major surprises on finals day.

Earlier this week we had seen Olympic Gold medallist, Nicola Adams exit the tournament and in Friday’s semi-finals (60kg) Russia’s Sofya Ochigava was surprisingly ousted by young French champion Estelle Mossely.

Could the French woman from Champigny cause an even bigger upset against reigning Olympic and World champion, Katie Taylor one wondered? The question was quickly answered as ‘Irish Times’ boxing correspondent Johnny Watterson reported from ringside in the Romanian capital.

“Mossely, a surprise semi-final winner over Russia’s Sofya Ochigava, was a rangy counter puncher, who had her stall set out from the beginning. But as others have discovered, Taylor’s speed and power were too much. Her left jab was the first scoring shot in the opening round, consistently beating her French opponent to the punch. Mossely had a longer reach and a slight height advantage but Taylor’s movement and tempo were unmatched, a big right hand landing just on the bell.

The fight never changed, the gold medal was always going back to Ireland, with Taylor switching from jab to combinations, the back hand always dangerously arching in. Mossely is a talented fighter and while there was a marked difference in ability, she did catch the Irish champion a few times, a point her father and coach Pete said would be corrected before the World Championships in the autumn.

“I was thinking about it all week that I wanted to make history,” said Katie. “Zaur (Antia) and my dad are the best coaches in the world. I’m just absolutely delighted and I want to thank everyone for all their prayers and support throughout this week. A six time European Champion . . . god’s hand was on me all week.

“Yeah it’s a lot to take in,” she added in an emotional post fight press conference. “The best thing about is I believe my best is yet to come. I’ve got the World Championships this year as well and the Olympics hopefully in a couple of years. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to defend all those titles.”


Stacey Copeland Wins Silver

Natasha Jonas and Stacey Copeland have won silver medals for England. Liverpool’s Jonas took silver in the light-welterweight category after losing out in the final to Anastasia Beliakova of Russia.

GB Boxing reports that Copeland secured her silver after losing out to Elena Vystropova of Azerbaijan in the welterweight final. It capped an incredible week for the 32-year-old from Bredbury Stockport Boxing Club who only took up the sport four years and was competing in her first major international tournament.

“I can’t quite believe what I have achieved this week,” said Copeland. “I was just looking forward to the experience of going to my first major tournament with England, so to make the final and come away with a silver medal is incredible.

Commenting on her silver medal, which is her third major medal after bronzes at the 2011 European Championship and 2012 Worlds, Natasha Jonas said: “It is a shame that I couldn’t quite win the gold today, but overall I am pleased with my performances this week and very happy to have won a silver medal.

Lee Pullen, Senior Podium Coach from the GB Boxing programme, said: “To come away from a major tournament like the European Championships with two silver medals is a good performance by the team. It was good to see Natasha starting to get back to her best and, for Stacey, it has been unbelievable start to her international career winning a silver medal in her first tournament.

“It is reassuring to see that we are starting to build more strength in depth in women’s boxing and the performance and results here will stand us in good stead for the major tournaments we have coming up later in the year.”

The 48kg title went to the host nation’s Steluta Duta who was a comprehensive winner (3:0) over Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova. Bulgaria though had its own Gold medal in the 51kg Olympic class albeit in unfortunate circumstances as Stoyka Petrova’s success came as a result of a walk-over when Russia’s emerging star,Saina Sagataeva was unable to compete due to an injury sustained in the semi-finals. Petrova though had earned her Gold by virtue of that earlier defeat of Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams.

There was also a richly deserved win for Italy’s veteran Marzia Davide who overcame Poland’s Ewelina Wicherska (Peralska) also 3:0. No one deserves such a reward as Davide one of the stalwarts of Italian, indeed European women’s boxing for over a decade. She also took the ‘Boxer of the Tournament’ award.

At 57kg, the Gold went to Russia’s Zinaida Dobrynina a clear winner against Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva, one of two Russian golds in Bucharest, the other being 21 years old Beliakova at 64kg.

Holland’s Mireille Nouchka Fontijn was in a rich vein of form in this tournament and annexed the 75kg title at the expense of German neighbour, Sarah Scheurich (3:0)

A lively bout at 81kg saw Ukraine’s Lilya Durnyeva take home the Gold,being too strong here for another Romanian benefiting from huge host nation support, Marinela

Radu whilst at 81kg+ another ‘veteran’ of the European rings over many years, Hungary’s Maria Kovacs deservedly took the title (2:0) over Italy’s Flavia Severin.

Quotes:


“The last competition day of the EUBC European Women's Continental Championships was a fantastic showcase for women’s boxing, and every competitor that has taken part in this prestigious competition can be proud of their excellent performances”. Said AIBA.org

"This is another proud moment for our sport. Katie is a tremendous athlete and a consistent source of pride. Katie Taylor and Clare Grace and the Irish squad in Romania did Ireland proud," said Tommy Murphy, President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

"I'm delighted with the win. It was a tough week, four fights this week to win the gold, but it's all worked out for me," said Katie Taylor after a 16th Gold medal in major international championships. "It's fantastic to win my sixth European title, that was always my target. I would like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes throughout the week."

"Romania should be very proud of themselves, the championships were excellently run, the transport and hotel were also great. Although I did not win the gold medal in Bucharest I have had a brilliant time and great experience which I will learn from. I have had some great performances which I will carry forward onto my next bouts and obviously improve on my weaknesses," stated England's London 2012 Olympian Natasha Jonas who claimed a silver medal in Bucharest.

And so the 2014 European Championships come to an end. No doubt who was the star of the show once again. When Katie Taylor arrives at Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon on Ryanair Flight FR7347 at 15.05 she and the rest of the Irish team she can be assured of a warm welcome in true Irish style.

A final message from Bucharest before setting out for home from : @KatieTaylor

“Thanks everyone for all your support and prayers. 6 X European Champion!! To God be the glory....always!!!”

Links : ALL the week’s results courtesy Strefa that fine Polish website : http://amateur-boxing.strefa.pl/Championships/European_wom_Champs2014.html

European Finals – all the medal winners from Bucharest : http://www.iaba.ie/images/C74F.CP_1.pdf

Video 60kg Final : Taylor v Mossely here: : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KemiVXODeQY&feature=youtu.be

Top 8 in Bucharest per weight. :http://www.iaba.ie/images/C96A.CP_.pdf
 

 

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