The 5th Nations Cup takes place in Ruma, Serbia from 8-12 January, marking the first women’s boxing tournament of 2016. Competing will be 44 junior, 63 youth and 162 elite-level athletes, with the latter also using the event in their preparations for May’s AIBA Women’s World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
With almost twice the number of elite boxers than the previous outing, this will comfortably be the biggest edition in the short history of the event, with 34 nations from all five AIBA confederations represented. The presence of Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia highlights the development of the women’s sport on the African continent, while Asia sees teams from China, India and Kazakhstan in attendance. New Zealand will represent Oceania, Dominica is the sole country from the Americas and Europe’s top 24 women’s boxing nations are all registered.
For a shot at the flyweight title, China’s 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Chang Yuan will have to overcome a strong field that includes Kazakhstan’s World Champion Nazym Kyzaybay and Incheon 2014 Asian Games silver medallist Zhaina Shekerbekova.
The middleweight class is also highly competitive, with Netherlands’ 2015 European Games winner Nouchka Fontijn, World Champion Yuan Meiqing of China, Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Champion Dariga Shakimova and Sweden’s former World Champion Anna Laurell will all be in action in Ruma Sports Hall.
Russia’s Daria Semashko, Vlada Kalacheva and Maria Shishmareva all won golds at last year’s Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Taipei, and the trio will no doubt be in medal contention once more, while India’s Sakshi – gold medalist at the World Junior Boxing Championships in Taipei at the age of fourteen – will be one to watch in the junior competition.