The eighth edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships began with its first competition day in Jeju, Korea. Altogether 280 elite boxers from 67 nations have been there in the general weigh-in in the morning which is near to the record of the championships. Sixteen bouts have been held in the opening day of the competition in the picturesque island of Jeju where Kazakhstan’s Dina Zholaman caused a huge surprise following her triumph over Argentina’s gold medal contender Leonela Sanchez.
Bout of the day
Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio was quarter-finalist at the 2010 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados four years ago when she was only 18. She is member of the national squad since 2009 and won the China Open Tournament last year. The 22-year-old boxer competed in the Asian Games in Incheon in September where she advanced to the quarter-finals. The Filipino boxer returned to the Featherweight class (57 kg) after the Asian Games which is her original category.
Petecio arrived to the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships to Jeju as medal contender but she had to open her competition against an experienced European opponent, Sweden’s Linnea Strandell who had 101 bouts prior the competition. The Filipino boxer tried to reduce the fighting distance from the first minute of the contest and her attacks were successful in the opening two rounds. Strandell also did not give up the battle but her efforts were not enough to turn back the bout until the final gong. Petecio’s next opponent will be Algeria’s most experienced female boxer, Manel Meharzi in the next preliminary round.
Team of the day
China’s Gao Jinyan claimed a bronze medal at their National Women’s Championships in 2011 which was her first excellent result during her career. The 22-year-old Bantamweight class (54 kg) boxer trains in the Liaoning Province and she is competing in her first international event in Jeju. The Chinese boxer is relatively unknown in the world but she had enough experiences to open her championships with a triumph. Gao Jinyan was too strong for Hungary’s newly crowned National Champion Szabina Szucs who was born also in 1992 as the Chinese boxer.
China’s second triumph was delivered by Xie Lili who was silver medallist in the 2012 ASBC Asian Women’s Continental Championships in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia. The 25-year-old Light Welterweight class (64 kg) boxer came from Beijing to get her first title in Jeju. She opened with effective punches against Algeria’s Rania M’Allaloui who moved up a weight class since her appearance in the AFBC African Women’s Continental Championships. In spite of the final round when Xie Lili had some warm moments she was able to beat her North African rival, winning the bout by unanimous decision.
Surprise of the day
Argentina’s AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Leonela Sanchez travelled to the island of Jeju as one of the gold medal contender of the Bantamweight class (54 kg) but she was enough shape in her opening bout against Kazakhstan’s two-time National Champion Dina Zholaman. Sanchez was not able to find the best fighting distance against her Central Asian rival and proved her real skills only in the final frame therefore Zholaman’s hand was raised after the final bell in Jeju which bout was the biggest surprise of the opening competition day.
One to watch
England’s EUBC European Women’s Youth Continental Championships silver medallist Sandy Ryan is new face in their national elite squad but she tried to do her best in the opening round of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju. The 21-year-old amazon used her longer hands to keep the distance against Hungary’s European Union Women’s Champion Bianka Nagy. The English boxer knocked down her Hungarian opponent in the third round and dominated all of the rounds in Jeju which means she will now meet with Turkey’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Gulsum Tatar Kaptan.
Stat/Fact of the day
Sixteen spectacular bouts opened the first day of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea. China, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Russia and United States of America are there in the event with maximum number of ten female boxers.
The number of participants per confederations are the following:
Africa: 27 boxers from 11 nations
America: 41 boxers from 13 nations
Asia: 78 boxers from 15 nations
Europe: 126 boxers from 26 nations
Oceania: 8 boxers from 2 nations
Quote of the day
“One of our medal hope Nesthy Petecio connected with well-placed uppercuts and hooks to take an early lead in the first part of her bout against Sweden’s Linnea Strandell. She relaxed a bit in the third round and her aggressive opponent was better in that frame. Petecio picked it up again in the last round to score the unanimous decision,” commented Mr. Edgar Picson the Executive Director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines Nesthy Petecio’s opening triumph over her European opponent.
Day 2: Gold medal candidates shine on Day 2 in Jeju
The AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships continued with a longer program in Jeju, Korea, where the program of the second competition day was split into two sessions.
Russia’s athletes were in fine form as all of their athletes defeated their rivals, and America’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Marlen Esparza won the bout of the day.
Bout of the day
In the absence of the two top favorites of the Flyweight class (51 kg) in England’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams and India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte, the strong US boxer Marlen Esparza is one of the main gold medal contenders of the category in Jeju.
The US star is only 25, but she has been a member of the national squad since 2006 when she bagged a bronze medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India.
Esparza has prepared well for the current AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, as she has successfully participated in nine tournaments this year, and she had to meet with Mongolia’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Nandintsetseg Myagmardulam in the opening round of the championships.
The American used aggressive tactics against the strong Mongolian boxer, who in turn demonstrated her quick combinations in the second round.
Excluding the second frame, it was the US boxer who controlled their top level and entertaining contest, and who won the battle of the day in Jeju.
Team of the day
Russia’s Sayana Sagatayeva won their National Selection Tournament in February, and the 24-year-old Flyweight class (51 kg) boxer has since only lost one bout, achieving gold medals in various international events.
The rising star arrived as gold medal contender for the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, and started her road to the finals against a tough European opponent, Germany’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Ornella Wahner.
Germany’s star boxer offered an excellent performance in the first part of their bout, but Sagatayeva stepped on the gas and raised the speed of the bout as it progressed, and eventually the Russian boxer’s efforts were enough to win the bout by split decision.
Zinaida Dobrynina joined to Russia’s national squad only last year, but she was able to win the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest in June.
The Featherweight class (57 kg) star had to meet with a tough opponent, Thailand’s Asian Indoor Games winner Peamwilai Laopeam in Jeju, and though the Thai boxer offered effective punches in the opening round, Dobrynina improved in the latter rounds, and eliminated her Asian rival.
Russia’s third triumph on the second competition day was delivered by former two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Sofya Ochigava, who is Katie Taylor’s main rival at the Lightweight class (60 kg).
Ochigava dominated her first fight in Jeju, as the 27-year-old athlete overwhelmed Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chia Ling and advanced to the last 16.
Surprises of the day
Turkey’s Elif Nur Coskun lost to Hungary’s Katalin Ancsin in the quarter-finals of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest in June, but the Turkish boxer used better tactics against the experienced Hungarian athlete in Jeju, and she was able to strike back her previous loss in their rematch.
Ireland’s rising hope Michaela Walsh was a silver medallist in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she was a competitive rival for England’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams as well.
The 21-year-old has returned to her original Bantamweight class (54 kg), but she was not able to repeat her recent excellent performances in Jeju, and she was outworked by China’s newcomer Lu Qiong.
Brazil’s Taynna Santos Cardoso won the AMBC American Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara two months ago, and defeated London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Adriana Araujo in the final of their National Championships.
The four-time AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion was the favourite in her opening bout against Germany’s Nina Meinke, but the German boxer achieved her best ever performance and advanced to the last 16, causing the biggest surprise of the day in Korea.
Ones to watch
Australia’s two-time National Champion Kristy Harris competed in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, where she advanced to the quarter-finals of the event but failed in her guaranteed medal bout.
The 21-year-old Flyweight class (51 kg) boxer, who trains in the Collingwood Boxing Club, dominated her opening fight against Sri Lanka’s Clifford Cup winner Dulani Anuradha Jayasinghe Arachchi.
Switzerland’s Sandra Brugger claimed a silver medal at the 2007 EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Vejle, Denmark and following that she took further podium places from various international events.
The Basel-based Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer was too strong for Netherlands’ Mariska Janssen in the preliminary round in Jeju.
Stat/Fact of the day
India’s Pinky Jangra Rani replaced the injured Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte in their team, and she opened with a triumph over Si Haijuan, which was China’s first loss in the 8th AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Central American Champion, and rising hope of the region Atheyna Bylon won her opening bout which was Panama’s first ever victory in the history of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Quotes of the day
“I felt good, but I know I will feel better in my next bout in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju. That was my first fight since the Commonwealth Games and I know I was slow to get going, but soon worked out my opponent’s favourite punches and adapted from there in the rest of the contest. It was good to get the first fight out of the way, it always is. I am looking forward to fighting Brazil’s Clelia Marques Costa on Wednesday whom I have been comp sparring in the lead up to this championships,” commented Australia’s Kristy Harris.
“I was too slow in the whole bout against Turkey’s Elif Nur Coskun and my reactions were too late in the tactical situations. I tried to speed up my footwork, but I was not in enough shape to do my plans in the ring. My Turkish opponent prepared well after our first contest in June. I do not know what happened with me, it might be that I was not able to keep my energy after the long travel and my acclimatization was not successful,” said Hungary’s Katalin Ancsin after her loss.