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AIBA Women's Youth and Junior World Championships, Taipei - Preview
by Michael O'Neill
(additional reporting
 from AIBA.org)
May 14, 2015

(MAY 14)  The 3rd edition of the AIBA Women's World Youth and Junior Championships gets underway in Taiwan on Saturday with the draw and preliminary bouts. Almost all the contestants had arrived by Thursday ahead of the opening ceremony and draw.

Though the AIBA reported some 441 entries had been received, in view of the expense of travelling from many of the less well off countries, it would be surprising if the final tally exceeds 350, (including reserves) perhaps less as we understand that some countries have had to reduce the number of boxers in their squad since the entries were posted and a few others will not be sending any representatives.

Our 'colleagues' at AIBA today filed their preview profiling eight young women to watch - will their 'forecast' prove right? Only time will tell - here are their thoughts:

"There are now just two days to go until the first bell rings in the third AIBA Women’s Youth & Junior World Championships, and we have profiled eight boxers to look out for in Taipei.

Anush Grigoryan – Armenia, Youth 51 kg:

Grigoryan made the final of the AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships in 2013, and her silver medal was an excellent reward after a remarkable tournament.

The Armenian boxer lost in that final to China’s Chang Yuan, but she claimed revenge in their rematch a year later.

After winning the gold medal earlier this year in the Queen’s Youth Cup, Grigoryan is full of confidence heading into these Championships, and her speed and skill will be key assets.

Chang Yuan – China, Youth 51 kg:

China’s Chang Yuan began her boxing career in Qianan at the age of 12 with coach Zhang Xiyan, and has managed to achieve many accolades during her six year career.

The gold medal at the 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships was followed by another victory in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and the Chinese star is looking for a third major honour in Taipei.

Irma Testa – Italy, Youth 57 kg:

Italy’s top youth boxer Irma Testa began her boxing career in 2011, and after just two years of training she won a title at the 2013 AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships.

Since then, Testa has moved up two weight classes, and recently won the Queen’s Youth Cup to signify her potential at Featherweight.

As the tallest boxer in her weight class, Testa uses her jab well and judges distance accurately.

Jajaira Gonzalez – United States, Youth 60 kg:

US star Jajaira Gonzalez is one of the most highly rated talents in women’s boxing, and has already won the Youth Olympic Games, the AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships, and the AMBC American Women’s Youth Continental Championships.

Gonzalez [R] in action

Undefeated at international level, the 18-year-old already has ten years experience in boxing, and is the favourite for gold in her weight class.

Ciara Ginty – Ireland, Youth 64 kg:

Ciara Ginty won her first national title three years ago, while a year later she secured the gold in the 2013 AIBA Junior World Championships.

After being awarded the Best AIBA Women’s Junior Boxer Trophy in 2013, Ginty won a deserved silver at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and the tall boxer has now moved up to the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) where she has got gold medal expectations in Taipei.

Chen Nien Chin – Chinese Taipei, Youth 75 kg:

Perhaps no boxer will be given as much support as Chinese Taipei’s star boxer in the upcoming Championships, and the southpaw athlete has been a medal machine over the past few years.

In 2013 she claimed a historic gold medal for Chinese Taipei in the AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships, before claiming the silver medal in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

The home favourite has raised her number of training hours ahead of this competition, where her main rivals could be China’s Chen Simin and England’s Chantelle Reid.

Maria Shishmareva – Russia, Youth +81 kg:

Maria Shishmareva began her boxing career in the city of Chita at the age of 12, and is already a seven-time Russian National Champion.

Shishmareva achieved gold at the 2013 AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships, before winning the 2014 EUBC European Women’s Junior Continental Championships in Assisi, Italy.

The Russian boxer only joined the youth age group in January, but has successfully adapted to the level of the new class.

Karolina Makhno – Ukraine, Junior 75 kg:

Ukraine’s talented Karolina Makhno trains in the city of Chernigiv with coach Oleksandr Kravets, and is already a two-time National Champion at 15-years-old.

Undefeated throughout 25 bouts in her career, the Ukrainian is planning to keep her winning streak intact after the final day of the AIBA Women’s Youth & Junior World Championships."

Our thanks to the AIBA for their input ; tomorrow we will suggest some additional young women who may (in the writer's view) also prove to be among the 'best in the world' and 'introduce'

to readers one of the AIBA's leading administrators who is very much involved in ensuring the success of the tournament. This is an event that will allow young boxers to prove their worth and

bring to the fore several young women from many continents who will become the stars of tomorrow and likely also become future World and Olympic medallists in 2016 and beyond - certainly by
the Tokyo Olympics of 2020.

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