The Nordic Championships recently finished in Tampere, Finland where many of the best boxers from Northern Europe competed against each other.
Athlete of the tournament
Finland’s Mira Potkonen is unbeaten in 2015, and has won four tournaments already this year, but the highly rated star had to meet with Sweden’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion and Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist 19-year-old Agnes Alexiusson in the Women’s Lightweight class (60 kg) in Tampere.
Both boxers recently won gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia at the beginning of March, which is one of the strongest European elite competitions.
The two met in the final of the Golden Girl Championships in Boras two months ago where Potkonen defeated her main regional rival in a narrow bout.
This time around, Potkonen spent a week at a training camp in Qianan, China and her excellent preparation showed as she controlled the rematch and won the gold medal.
Team of the tournament
Finland claimed ten gold medals in the Nordic Championships on home soil in Tampere, including four from their women’s athletes.
Their gold run started with Finland’s former AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Matti Koota who beat Denmark’s 19-year-old Fredrik Lundgaard Jensen in the final of the Men’s Bantamweight class (56 kg).
The Men’s Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) was one of the most engaging weight classes, and Finland’s returning boxer Ville Hukkanen provided a world class performance in Tampere and overwhelmed his rivals in the Nordic Championships.
He stopped Norway’s EUBC European Youth Continental Championships silver medallist Vegar Tregren in the first round of their semi-final, and following that he was too strong for Denmark’s Ditlev Rossing as well.
Finland’s number one Heavyweight (91 kg) Tomi Honka won gold medal in the elite men’s part of the competition after beating Denmark’s Kim Thomsen, while their top youth boxer 17-year-old Arslan Khataev defeated Ali Mohamed Metashar.
The second youth gold medal was achieved by new team member Justus Paajanen who beat Sweden’s Anton Kulppi-Svensson in the Lightweight class (60 kg).
Surprise of the tournament
Sweden’s Farman Babajev replaced Adam Chartoi in the Welterweight class (69 kg) and delivered the biggest surprise of the Nordic Championships.
The 18-year-old won all of the rounds against Finland’s AIBA Junior World Championships quarter-finalist Muhammad Abdilrasoon to showcase his burgeoning reputation.
One to watch
Sweden’s Love Holgersson is one of the tallest boxers in the Women’s Middleweight class (75 kg) and she won the 2011 AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
The 22-year-old has made the transition to the elite level with great success, and dominated all of the rounds against Finland’s Sanna Turunen in their final.
Stat/fact of the tournament
Finland topped the team rankings in the Nordic Championships, while Sweden achieved eight gold medals in Tampere.
Denmark and Norway both secured three gold medals in the competition.
Quote of the tournament
“I was very excited to box in the home ring again in the front of the local boxing fans. Our tactics against Alexiusson was to be in charge in the ring and to try and control the bout at all times. I managed to do that in the last three rounds, and it was great to win my second Nordic title and receive the best women’s boxer trophy again. It has been a good start for the year so far as I have won all of my 16 bouts in 2015,” commented Finland’s unbeaten Mira Potkonen after her triumph.
List of the winners in Tampere
Women’s Youth 57 kg: Doris Marins, Finland
Women’s Youth 64 kg: Stephanie Thour, Sweden
Women’s Elite 48 kg: Lise Sandebjer, Sweden
Women’s Elite 51 kg: Juliana Soederstroem, Sweden
Women’s Elite 54 kg: Helena Envall, Sweden
Women’s Elite 57 kg: Aino Juvonen, Finland
Women’s Elite 60 kg: Mira Potkonen, Finland
Women’s Elite 64 kg: Elina Gustafsson, Finland
Women’s Elite 69 kg: Ditte Ajaaja Frostholm, Denmark
Women’s Elite 75 kg: Love Holgersson, Sweden
Men’s Youth 56 kg: Arslan Khataev, Finland
Men’s Youth 60 kg: Justus Paajanen, Finland
Men’s Youth 64 kg: Anders Eggan, Norway
Men’s Youth 69 kg: Farman Babajev, Sweden
Men’s Youth 75 kg: Tobias Moellenberg, Denmark
Men’s Youth 81 kg: Kevin Ushe Asonze, Denmark
Men’s 56 kg: Matti Koota, Finland
Men’s 60 kg: Bashir Hassan, Sweden
Men’s 64 kg: Amin Nuri, Finland
Men’s 69 kg: Jamshid Nazari, Norway
Men’s 75 kg: Leon Chartoi
Men’s 81 kg: Ville Hukkanen, Finland
Men’s 91 kg: Tomi Honka, Finland
Men’s +91 kg: Simen Nysaeter, Norway