(APR 10) The 2016 EUBC/AIBA
European Olympic qualifiers opened in Samsun, Turkey on Saturday
and with few surprises in the preliminary rounds of either the
male or female tournaments.
Photo: courtesy EUBC Boxing Confederation
After the general weigh-in,
official draw and opening ceremony, the first bouts of the
competition got underway in Samsun with 207 men competing for 30
quota places and 56 women chasing 6 available Olympic berths.
Saturday saw twenty preliminary contests between the Womenís
Flyweight (51kg), Womenís Lightweight (60kg), Menís Flyweight
(52kg), Menís Light Welterweight (64kg), Menís Heavyweight
(91kg) and Menís Super-Heavyweight (+91kg) boxers, and it was
the Turkish and Irish teams that made the biggest impression
Courtesy photo: AIBA
For the Irish Dean
Walsh and Dean Gardiner were winners on day one, the three Irish
women (Ceire Smith, Katie Taylor and Christina Desmond) are in
action on Monday Night.
There was however disappointment for Polandís Sandra Drabik in
the 51kg division, one of the three Olympic weights for women.
Only a top two (final) place here guarantees a quota slot for
Rio and the experienced Polish fighter exited the tournament in
the preliminary round, somewhat surprisingly going under 2:0 to
the host nationís Neriman Istik.
Armeniaís AIBA Youth World Champion and elite-level newcomer
(also 51kg) Anush Grigoryan controlled her tie against the Greek
boxer Antonia Papoutsaki. Swedenís AIBA Womenís Youth
Lightweight World Champion Agnes Alexiusson was also able to
dominate her opening (60kg) match against Serbiaís Milena
ďI felt in good shape during the bout and I had fun. The first
contest is always a bit nervy in a big tournament, especially
one like the AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event, but this
was only the first step and I know I have to do more in the
upcoming contests to accomplish my goal,Ē said Alexiusson, who
has been one of the most successful womenís youth and junior
boxers of recent years.
Great Britainís lightweight star Chantelle Cameron suffered a
big Olympic setback as she lost out to Azerbaijanís AIBA Womenís
World silver medallist Yana Alekseevna in the preliminary round,
before Russiaís Anastasiia Beliakova marked her return to the
national squad at lightweight by defeating Ukraineís tough
Iuliaa Tsyplakova. Beliakova succeeds Sofya Ochigava as the
Russian entrant at 60 kg and could prove a real threat being the
AIBA 64kg world champion in Jeju.
Alekseevna is arguably likely to pose the greatest threat to
Irelandís Katie Taylor in this tournament though the Russian,
Beliakova and the French champion and no.2 seed Mosselly are
also likely to be Ďthere or thereaboutsí when the womenís finals
take place on Sunday next.
First though Taylor has to beat the Czech Republic titleholder,
Martina Schmoranzova a 3:0 winner over Germanyís Tasheena Bugar
Saturday. The other Irish women
are Ceire Smith at 51kg who defeated World champion Marlen
Esparza in Warsaw late last year and at 75kg Corkís Christina
Desmond who has a mammoth task to overcome the World no 3 and no
1 seed here, Noucha Fontijn of the Netherlands, in Samsun.
With Chantelle Cameron out of the competition GBís hopes now
rest with Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams and with
Hartlepools Savannah Marshall in the 75kg division. It should be
stressed though that boxers do not finish in the top two in
Samsun will have a final opportunity of qualifying for Rio at
the 2016 AIBA World championships in Astana in May.
Day 1 results courtesy of Strefa Poland Boxing are here:
Day 1 results weight by weight and Day 2 program here: