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Christina Desmond shocks top seed Nouchka Fontijn in Samsun
by Michael O'Neill
Additional reporting/AIBA & IABA
April 14,  2016
Photo credit: John Delea
     
   
   

(APR 14)  The AIBA European Olympic Qualification event saw no fewer than 54 preliminary-round bouts across two sessions in Samsun on Monday, with the winners securing their passage through to the quarter-finals and taking a big step towards a quota place for Rio 2016.

The Women’s Flyweight (51kg), Lightweight (60kg) and Middleweights (75kg) were joined by the Men’s Light Flyweight (49kg), Flyweight (52kg), Light Welterweight (64kg) and Super Heavyweights (+91kg) in a marathon of top-class boxing.

The defeat of World no.2 Middleweight, Nouchka Fontijn, by Irish ‘teenager’ Christina Desmond was the ‘major’ shock of the day . The 19 years old Cork woman is celebrating her 20th birthday on Tuesday but few – apart from the Irish contingent – believed she could defeat the number 1 seed here.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the win. Nouchka Fontijn is the best in Europe if not the world. I gave it everything and I had a good first two rounds. She came back in the third but I worked hard. It was all about my performance on the day and I am delighted to get through this tough task,” said the Irish middleweight who now meets Hungary’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Petra Szatmari after she eliminated the Spanish veteran Miriam Gutierrez.

Desmond from Cill na Martra near Macroom in the Irish Gaeltacht region of Muskerry thus missed out on celebrating her birthday with twin brother Michael adding later:

“My twin brother Michael isn’t very pleased that I’ll miss our birthday celebrations tomorrow but he’s thrilled that I won and so am I. “I didn’t mind being the underdog, it suited me fine”.

The Women’s Flyweight (51kg), Lightweight (60kg) and Middleweights (75kg) were joined by the Men’s Light Flyweight (49kg), Flyweight (52kg), Light Welterweight (64kg) and Super Heavyweights (+91kg) in a marathon of top-class boxing.

Bulgarian top seed Stanimira Petrova opened up the day against Turkey’s Neriman Istik, and had no trouble adapting to her new class having won the bantamweight gold two years ago in Jeju. The home favourite could find no answer as Petrova used her height advantage well to take the unanimous decision and inflict Turkey’s first defeat of the competition.

“I am happy with my performance today and we were able to surprise the Turkish boxer with our tactics. I tried something new in my style which worked well but I know I have to do more in my next bout. I am sure I can beat Italy’s Marzia Davide once again but it will be a tough quarter-final,” said Petrova after her contest.

Having narrowly missed out on a place at London 2012, Norway’s Marielle Hansen took a step closer to Rio 2016 as she surprised the Russian European Confederation silver medallist Saiana Sagataeva with her aggressive style.

There was another shock in store in the 75kg middleweight class where Hartlepools Savannah Marshall would have been expected to benefit from the defeat of Fontijn but having seen lightweight Chantelle Cameron depart the event on the opening day, Team GB also saw Marshall go out.

AIBA World Elite champion and 2015 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, Marshall lost against French champion Erika Guerrier.

Better news of the last remaining Team GB female, Nicola Adams who had no such trouble as she went through with a convincing win against Iulia Coroli.

Ireland’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Katie Taylor controlled her match against the Czech Republic’s Martina Schmoranzova and she reaches the quarter-final stages along with lightweight title rivals Anastasia Beliakova of Russia, Italy’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Irma Testa, Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna and Sweden’s 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Agnes Alexiusson.

The Bray woman now meets Denmark’s Yvonne Baek Rasmussen in Wednesday’s quarter finals. The Dane gained a bronze medal at the 2005 World championships in Podolsk, Russia.

Our three ladies all won well today and Christina was a total sensation altogether,” said Joe Hennigan, the Irish team manager.

All the results are here, courtesy of Strefa Poland Boxing: http://amateur-boxing.strefa.pl/Championships/EuroOlyQual2016.html 


 

 
     
     
   
 
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