The recent Great Silk Way Tournament was used as a test competition ahead of June’s European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the event enabled the city to prepare for the first edition of the Games.
Athlete of the tournament
Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova was a silver medallist in the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao at Middleweight (75 kg), later moving down to Welterweight (69 kg) after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Azeri athlete claimed bronze in the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, plus a title in the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships, before moving down a further weight class to Light welterweight (64 kg) ahead of the European Games.
Vystropova will be a boxer to watch in June, especially after her success in this tournament which culminated with a final victory over Uzbekistan’s Kamila Bekmetova.
Team of the tournament
Azerbaijan dominated this tournament winning 11 out of 15 gold medals, beginning in the opening final of the women’s competition when 20-year-old Ashakhanum Aghayeva defeated her teammate Aziza Abbasova.
At Bantamweight (54 kg), Anna Alimardanova defeated Russia’s National Championships silver medallist Tatiana Zrazhevskaya in a hectic bout, while AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medalist Yana Alekseevna also achieved success, along with their fourth women’s gold medalist, Elena Vystropova.
In the men’s part of the European Games Test Event, EUBC European Continental Championships silver medallist Elvin Mamishzada, AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Elvin Isayev, Lorenzo Sotomayor, WSB hope Khaybula Musalov and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Teymur Mammadov all secured gold medals for the host nation.
Surprise of the tournament
Azerbaijan’s 20-year-old Javid Dadashov was not the favourite against Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Rufat Huseynov at Light flyweight (49 kg), but he found the winning tactics in the quarter-final stage of the tournament which was one of the biggest surprises of the test event.
Although Dadashov lost his semi-final to eventual winner Bator Sagaluyev, he displayed a lot of potential and could be a future star for his country.
One to watch
Bulgaria’s Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Radoslav Pantaleev has developed well in recent years as a boxer, and the 22-year-old Light Heavyweight (81 kg) had a successful tournament in Azerbaijan.
He eliminated Hungary’s tough Norbert Harcsa in the quarter-finals, Belarus’ EUBC European Continental Championships bronze medallist Siarhei Novikau in the semi-finals while he was also too strong for Turkey’s Cem Karlidag in the gold medal bout.
Stat/fact of the tournament
83 women’s and men’s boxers were invited by the local organizers to test the boxing venue before the forthcoming European Games, where gold medals were won by Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia and Uzbekistan.
List of the winners in Baku
- Women’s 51 kg: Ashakhanum Aghayeva, Azerbaijan
- Women’s 54 kg: Anna Alimardanova, Azerbaijan
- Women’s 60 kg: Yana Alekseevna, Azerbaijan
- Women’s 64 kg: Elena Vystropova, Azerbaijan
- Women’s 75 kg: Viktoria Kebikava, Belarus
- Men’s 49 kg: Bator Sagaluyev, Russia
- Men’s 52 kg: Elvin Mamishzada, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 56 kg: Tayfur Aliyev, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 60 kg: Elvin Isayev, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 64 kg: Lorenzo Sotomayor, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 69 kg: Tamerlan Abdullayev, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 75 kg: Khaybula Musalov, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 81 kg: Radoslav Pantaleev, Bulgaria
- Men’s 91 kg: Teymur Mammadov, Azerbaijan
- Men’s +91 kg: Bakhodir Jalolov, Uzbekistan