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Fidura, Fontijn, Adams and Sagataeva play starring roles on first quarter-finals day in Baku
by Michael O'Neill
June 23, 2015

(JUNE 23) Monday saw the first quarter-finals day of the women’s tournament in the Crystal Hall 2 in downtown Baku with Nicola Adams again overcoming Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova and thus through to the semi-final against the relatively inexperienced Elif Nur Coskun of Turkey. On form to date one cannot see the London 2012 Gold medallist losing that bout as the Turkish woman had to overcome a strong late challenge from Germany’s Ornella Wahner – neither Coskun nor Wahner are of the same standard – yet anyway – as Adams.

The second quarter final in the 51kg Fly division resulted in a win for the Russian, Saiana Sagataeva 2:1 against Irish Elite champion, Ceire Smith from Cavan BC. Smith as always fought a gallant fight coming back from behind . Sagataeva is the current European elite silver medallist and world no.9 and she now meets Poland’s Sandra Drabik for a place in the final. Drabik (2:0) was too powerful for Yana Burim of Belarus. Should be a good fight as there is always a healthy rivalry – and respect – between the Russians and Poles.

Overall it was a good day for Polish boxing since middleweight (75kg) Lidia Fidura caused an upset by defeating Russia’s Iaroslav Iakushina . This is how the AIBA’s team in Baku read that bout : “Lidia Fidura first joined the Polish national elite team in 2008 at the age of 18, and had a three year age advantage over Russia’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina in their quarter-final.

Despite her youth, Iakushina was the favourite of their bout, and began the first round with effective combinations.

Fidura was able to adapt to the pressure however, which led to dynamic attacks of her own that surprised her Russian opponent.

After an arduous fight for both boxers, Fidura’s hand was raised in victory, and she will now meet Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Anna Laurell Nash in the semi-final.”

Another fine win today for World no.3 Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands. The AIBA team saw it like this: “EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Nouchka Fontijn arrived to the Baku 2015 European Games with a strict goal to win another important gold medal.

The 28-year-old Dutch boxer eliminated Britain’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall in the preliminary round, and followed up that success with a strong win over Ukraine’s National Champion Kateryna Shambir.

Fontijn won all of the rounds in impressive style despite the constant aggression of Shambir, which qualifies her for the semi-final where she will meet Germany’s Sarah Scheurich”.

AIBA’s Quote of the day from GB’s Nicola Adams : “It is a shame this was not the final in the Baku 2015 European Games, but it will not affect me. I am Nicola Adams, the Olympic Champion and every boxer I take on, I will take on as though it is a final. I think my win today will boost the morale in the team,” said Adams defeating Petrova.

Tuesday sees two more quarter-finals in the 60kg lightweight division with French title holder, world no.3 Estelle Mossely expected to defeat Italy’s Romina Marenda whilst Germany’s Tashina Bugar (27) meets young up and coming 19 yrs old Serbian title holder, Jelena Jelic. Little is known of the Serbian outside her native land so the remaining contenders for the crown will also be taking good note of that bout.

All four light welter quarter finals take place Tuesday also with GB’s impressive Sandy Ryan (age 21) up against the host nation’s Elena Vystropova (26). Ryan will have the fight of her life if she is to overcome both the Azeri and the volatile home crowd – one of those bouts where we could further progress made by the young Briton.

World no.1 Anastasiia Beliakova of Russia is favourite for the title and will also be in action Tuesday against that tough Hungarian, Bianka Nagy but the Russian will expect to the semi-finals.

http://amateur-boxing.strefa.pl/Championships/EuropeanGames2015.html (all results from every bout in Baku)

http://www.iaba.ie/site3/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Boxing2015-Baku-2015-European-Games-Day8-Schedule.pdf (Tuesday’s programme)

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