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A memorable Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament was the first Asian elite competition of 2015, and was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Host nation Kyrgyzstan claimed five out of the ten possible gold medals on home soil, while athletes from Uzbekistan, Thailand, Russia and Kazakhstan also reached the top of the podium in the strong prestigious tournament which delivered unforgettable moments for the athletes in the cold Central Asian Winter.

Uzbekistan’s 18-year-old Makhmud Gaipov continued his incredible winning path and secured his third gold medal in a row in elite tournaments.

Athlete of the tournament
Agalarov Youth Cup winner Makhmud Gaipov won his elite competition debut in the Valentin Zolotarev Memorial Tournament in Andizhan where he bagged the gold medal.

Following that great star, the 18-year-old Uzbek Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer won their National Championships in Almalik where he was too smart for Incheon 2014 Asian Games silver medallist Israil Madrimov.

The Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament was only Gaipov’s third elite competition during his career, but he was able to beat all of the rivals at the Welterweight class (69 kg).

He defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Ilyas Mukanbetov in the semi-final, and following that he had to meet with Mongolia’s London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Uranchimeg Munkherdene who is one of the most experienced Asian boxers in the world.

The Mongolian athlete was injured in the first round of their final battle, so therefore the gold medal of the weight class went to Uzbekistan.

Team of the tournament
Kyrgyzstan secured five gold medals in the 2015 edition of the tournament, despite the absence of their two top boxers; ASBC Asian Continental Champion Azat Usenaliev and ASBC Asian Continental Championships bronze medallist Omurbek Malabekov who are both competing in the fifth season of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

Rakhmankul Avatov won the first gold medal for the host nation in Bishkek, while Kyrgyz National Champion Zhanybek Musayev continued the winning series.

Fellow National Champion Meder Mamakeyev defeated his teammate Akzhol Sulaymanbek Uulu at the Lightweight class (60 kg), while AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist and ASBC Asian Continental Championships bronze medallist Ermek Sakenov beat two Russian boxers as well.

Their fifth gold medal was achieved by veteran Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer Chyngyz Borbashev who has been a member of the national team since 2004.

Surprise of the tournament
Kyrgyzstan’s Rakhmankul Avatov won the gold medal at the Light Flyweight class (49 kg) in the last edition of their National Championships in October in the absence of their strong boxer, Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Turat Osmonov.

The 20-year-old Avatov eliminated Kyrgyzstan’s Mirlan Turkbay Uulu in the semi-finals of the Shopokov Memorial Tournament, and following that success he had to meet with favourite Osmonov in the final.

After an epic clash, the younger Avatov won the contest, and beat his great rival.

Ones to watch
Thailand’s ASBC Asian Continental Championships bronze medallist Tanes Ongjunta moved up to the Bantamweight class (56 kg) last month and arrived in Bishkek to raise his experience at that category.

The 23-year-old promising athlete defeated Kazakhstan’s Asylkhan Uzakbayev, Kyrgyzstan’s teenage hope Sirodjiddin Abdullayev, Kyrgyzstan’s WSB boxer Mirbek Sherov, Turkmenistan’s rising hope Yakub Meredov and China’s Lu Kangjian in the final of the tournament.

Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov secured his second national title in December, and following his silver in the last edition of the Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament, the young boxer changed the brightness of the medal into gold this time around.

Returning boxer of the tournament
Kyrgyzstan’s Shermukhammad Khakimov fought for the Central Asian country in the 2006 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Agadir, Morocco quit the sport some years later.

Now, Khakimov has decided to return to the world of boxing some months ago and he achieved a bronze medal at the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) in Bishkek.

Stat/fact of the tournament
Thailand competed in the Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament for the very first time in the history of the event, and this experience was very useful for their boxers who have been preparing for the upcoming ASBC Asian Continental Championships which is scheduled for Bangkok in July.

Altogether, 177 boxers took part in the 39th edition of the Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in Kyrgyzstan.

List of the winners in Bishkek
49 kg: Rakhmankul Avatov, Kyrgyzstan
52 kg: Zhanybek Musayev, Kyrgyzstan
56 kg: Tanes Ongjunta, Thailand
60 kg: Meder Mamakeyev, Kyrgyzstan
64 kg: Ermek Sakenov, Kyrgyzstan
69 kg: Makhmud Gaipov, Uzbekistan
75 kg: Nursultan Zhanabayev, Kazakhstan
81 kg: Georgiy Kusitashvili, Russia
91 kg: Chyngyz Borbashev, Kyrgyzstan
+91 kg: Bakhodir Jalolov, Uzbekistan