The Sunday afternoon session of the AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event in Samsun, Turkey saw the Women’s Flyweight, Lightweight and Middleweight champions crowned along with the winner of the men’s Heavyweight final.
After seven days of competition, 32 boxers from 13 nations have now qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with one session remaining on Sunday evening.
Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist Nicola Adams and Bulgaria’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova had both qualified for Rio 2016 by reaching the flyweight final, and it was Adams’ attacking intent that made the difference as she beat Petrova for the first time. Ukrainian Tetyana Kob defeated Norway’s Marielle Hansen to take third place.
Having beaten Ireland’s third-place winner Katie Taylor in the biggest surprise of the semi-finals, Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna capped a superb tournament by taking the lightweight gold against Italy’s AIBA Youth World Champion.
“It was a bit strange to be honest getting over the disappointment of the semi-finals. I know I have to prepare for the AIBA Women’s World Championships now and this is the start of it. I am going to try and improve over the next few weeks and make things right for the World Championships. My Bulgarian opponent in the Box-off was a tall, tricky southpaw, the fourth southpaw I have boxed this week, so I was trying to implement what the guys were telling me to do and the tactics are always spot-on – today I executed them well I think,” said Ireland’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Katie Taylor afterwards.
Russia’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina reached her career highlight with a middleweight final victory over Sweden’s two-time AIBA World Champion Anna Laurell.
“I am very pleased to get an Olympic quota in the first qualification event. I was very tired after last year, I was stressed but I knew that luck would be on my side after all the hard work this year. When I return to Moscow I will fly to Anapa immediately to join to the national squad in preparation for the AIBA Women’s World Championships,” said Russia’s four-time National Champion. Germany’s Sarah Scheurich controlled the box-off against Hungarian Petra Szatmari to take third place.
Britain’s Lawrence Okolie took the men’s heavyweight gold against France’s Paul Omba Biongolo, after Azerbaijan’s 2015 European Games winner Abdulkadir Abdullayev had beaten Ukraine’s Gevorg Manukian to the third Olympic quota place in a thrilling box-off.
Winners in the AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event
Women’s 51 kg: Nicola Adams, Great Britain
Women’s 60 kg: Yana Alekseevna, Azerbaijan
Women’s 75 kg: Iaroslava Iakushina, Russia
Men’s 49 kg: Galal Yafai, Great Britain
Men’s 52 kg: Muhammad Ali, Great Britain
Men’s 56 kg: Javid Chalabiyev, Azerbaijan
Men’s 69 kg: Eimantas Stanionis, Lithuania
Men’s 75 kg: Christian Mbilli Assomo, France
Men’s 81 kg: Joshua Buatsi, Great Britain
Men’s 91 kg: Lawrence Okolie, Great Britain