The first major international competition of 2014 has finished in the small town of Vrbas in Serbia where the top elite, youth and junior athletes competed in the Women’s Nations Cup. The event marks an important first step in the athlete’s build up to the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Championships.

Serbia’s talented youth boxer Valentina Keri (left) was one of the tournament’s stand-out boxers. At only 17 years old she looked like a far more experienced boxer as she beat some tough opposition on her way to the gold. After winning bronze at the event last year, she not only took the title this year on home soil, but was also awarded the best female youth boxer trophy of the tournament.

“I am extremely happy to have won my first ever international tournament and the best youth boxer trophy was a real surprise for me. I fought in the front of my family and they were very proud of me together with my friends so I hope I will be able to carry this winning streak on into the rest of 2014,” said Valentina Keri after the awards.

England’s European Women’s Junior Championships gold medallist Chantelle Reid also performed well. Reid was too strong for Russia’s Anna Anfinogenova in the final of the Light Middleweight (70kg) category and won the best junior boxer trophy in the event. Overall in fact it was a good tournament for England with European Women’s Junior Champion Ebonie Jones also claiming a gold medal at junior level and Chantelle Cameron dominating the Elite Lightweight category (60kg) by beating current European Champion Estelle Mosselly of France in a spectacular battle.

Also at the elite level Russia’s Saadat Abdullayeva stopped her compatriot Lyubov Pashina in the Middleweight category (75kg) and won the best female elite boxer trophy. She will be looking to maintain her level as the year moves on.

Elsewhere Russian newcomer Sayana Sagatayeva did well at Flyweight (51kg) where she defeated AIBA’s Pinky Jangra by split decision. Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Svetlana Kamenova Staneva moved back to her original Featherweight category (57kg) following her appearance at the SportAccord World Combat Games. The switch suited her and she came home with the gold.

Interestingly, in the Light Welterweight class (64kg) Hungarian female fighters dominated at both elite and youth level with Bianka Nagy and Alexandra Bugyik impressing respectively.

It will be interesting to see how things progess as the season moves on.