Moldova’s national women’s champion Irina Gilca is on the AIBA Road to Antalya training camp which is preparing boxers from underprivileged nations for the Women’s Junior and Youth World Championships, which start in the Turkish coastal town on Sunday.

But Gilca is no stranger to international competition. The 18 year-old already has 58 bouts to her name, including an appearance at last year’s AIBA Women’s World Championships in Barbados. Back then she was eliminated 4:1 in the first preliminary round by the Czech Republic’s Danuse Dilhofova, who at 32 was almost double Gilca’s age and went on to make the quarter-finals. Now she has been training in Antalya to take on boxers of her own age in the 60kg division in Antalya.

Gilca is one of 23 boxers who have been training with seven coaches in Antalya under the leadership of American coach Christy Halbert, who also managed the Road to Barbados training camp before last year’s Women’s World Championships.

The young Moldovan, who hails from the small town of Firladeni south-east of the capital Chisinau, trains under coach Evgeny Rotar and already has 58 bouts under her belt. Aside from her national title and her participation in the 2010 Women’s World Championships, she also took third place at the Nikolayev Women’s Cup in Nikolayev, Ukraine last year. After beating home boxer Katerina Turskaya 7:0 in the quarter-final, she was unable to contest the semi-final and conceded the bout to Russia’s Anastasiya Belyakov by walk-over.