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The Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament is a traditional international competition in Tajikistan, and the 32nd edition of the event was held last week.

Khudjand is the biggest city of the Sugd region in Tajikistan, and hosted the competition where the Central Asian nation’s biggest stars such as Mavzuna Choriyeva, Asror Vohidov, Djakhon Kurbanov and Anvar Yunusov all claimed gold medals.

Athlete of the tournament
Tajikistan’s Asror Vohidov claimed a gold medal at the 2011 AIBA Junior World Championships in Astana and was awarded the Best Junior Boxer of 2011 trophy.

He was also a bronze medallist at the 2012 AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifiers before his 17th birthday in the Light Flyweight class (49 kg).

Tajikistan’s teenager won the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament one year ago before the AIBA World Boxing Championships, and he was able to defend his throne in Khudjand following his first elite national title which he achieved in May.

In the 32nd edition of the Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament, the Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer defeated Tajikistan’s National Champion and AIBA World Boxing Championships competitor Oraz Afzalshoyev, and Kazakhstan’s AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist 19-year-old Olzhas Kalaubek.

The 19-year-old Vohidov can now prepare fully for his first Asian Games which is scheduled for Incheon next month.

Team of the tournament
Tajikistan claimed ten gold medals in the thirteen weight classes, and topped the team rankings on home soil.

Their new sensation Shavkatjon Rakhimov won two bouts in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan last October and achieved a valuable bronze medal at the Galym Zharylgapov Memorial Tournament in Karagandy in December.

He stopped 19-year-old Akbar Safarov in the final of the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) in Khudjand and booked his ticket to Incheon.

Murodjon Rasulov was invited to the 2008 AIBA World Cup in Moscow, and his gold medal in the Light Flyweight class (49 kg) was won excellently.

Mirzomukhammed Bakhtiyar was only a bronze medallist in their National Championships in May, but he was able to strike back to beat Eradzh Kurbonov in the gold medal bout of the Welterweight class (69 kg).

Surprise of the tournament
Tajikistan’s ASBC Asian Continental Championships silver medallist Navruz Jafoev was eliminated by their Youth National Champion Khalimboy Zokirboyev in the semi-final which was the biggest surprise of the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament in Khudjand.

The 20-year-old Zokirboyev acquired the gold medal following his close final against Tajikistan’s Nurmukhammad Mukhammadrasul in the event.

Ones to watch in the future
Tajikistan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist and two-time Olympian Anvar Yunusov stopped most of his opponents in the event, and secured a further gold medal in his career which started in 2005.

The 27-year-old WSB Boxer defeated Kazakhstan’s Sapargali Togyzbayev in the final of the Lightweight class (60 kg) which ended before the final gong.

Tajikistan’s best women’s boxer, the London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mavzuna Choriyeva also claimed a gold medal following her triumph against a strong fighter from Uzbekistan, Yodgor Mirzoyeva.

The host nation’s Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) number Mekhrodjiddin Karimov is 218cm tall, and therefore his only job was to keep the distance against his rivals in the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament.

He solved this issue magnificently, and the 22-year-old giant was able to beat his teammate, Khusein Adzhidzhemil in the final bout.

Stat/fact of the tournament
The 32nd edition was the first one when women boxers were eligible to take part, and the athletes from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan proved their skills in Khudjand.

Altogether, 88 athletes fought for the medals in the current edition of the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament which was one of the last chances for the Central Asian athletes to show their skills before the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

Quote of the tournament
“We have been preparing to the upcoming Asian Games and that was the first time when women boxers could fight in the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament. I hope there will be more international events in my country in the future and that would be great if even more nations could be competed in those events. In the current event my final battle was difficult but thanks to God I could beat my Uzbek opponent and won the event before the Asian Games,” said Tajikistan’s boxer, Mavzuna Choriyeva after the finals.

List of the winners in the Ismoil Hamzaaliyev Memorial Tournament
Women’s 51 kg: Nasiba Ruzimatova, Uzbekistan
Women’s 60 kg: Mavzuna Choriyeva, Tajikistan
Women’s 64 kg: Emin Shmykova, Uzbekistan
Men’s 49 kg: Murodjon Rasulov, Tajikistan
Men’s 52 kg: Muptokhidin Azimov, Kyrgyzstan
Men’s 56 kg: Asror Vohidov, Tajikistan
Men’s 60 kg: Anvar Yunusov, Tajikistan
Men’s 64 kg: Shavkatjon Rakhimov, Tajikistan
Men’s 69 kg: Mirzomukhammed Bakhtiyar, Tajikistan
Men’s 75 kg: Komiljon Kholikov, Tajikistan
Men’s 81 kg: Khalimboy Zokirboyev, Tajikistan
Men’s 91 kg: Djakhon Kurbanov, Tajikistan
Men’s +91 kg: Mekhrodjiddin Karimov, Tajikistan