The host nation's squad at the 16th edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku had the youngest average age during the competition but despite a lack of experience their top fighters secured one gold and one silver medal with a further two places for the London Games. These qualified athletes joined Soltan Migitinov who acquired his Olympic quota at the World Series of Boxing Individual Championships in May.
Two youth boxers also represented the team, with both being European Elite Champions in Ankara in June, with their best lightweight boxer Elvin Isayev not even 19 years of age at the time of the competition. The average age of the whole Azeri team was only 20.4 years but they will need to get more international experience in the build up to the 2012 London Olympic Games in order to further progress next year.
The second youngest team at the AIBA World Boxing Championships was the squad from the Dominican Republic; their average age was only a little higher than the host nation's, 20.6 years. The Central American country sent five young boxers to the Championships and their best competitor, 18-year-old World Combat Games silver medallist Dagoberto Aguero almost qualified for the Olympic Games in Baku but will need to do so in Rio de Janeiro next year.
The Mexican boxing teams are always young; their average age at the AIBA World Championships was 20.7 years however they were unable to secure any Olympic quota places in Azerbaijan. They will be able to showcase the talents of their squad at the forthcoming Panamerican Games in Guadalajara where the Mexican boxers present will include Oscar Valdez and Oscar Molina who will compete in front of their home crowd from October 21.
The following top nations have got strong young teams: Turkmenistan with an average age of 21.1, United States with 21.3, Cuba with 21.7, Uzbekistan with 21.8, Poland with 22.0 and Kyrgyzstan with 22.2. The young and very talented Cuban squad will surely soon be re-establishing their dominance of the sport.
It is already a tradition that the oldest team in a major boxing competition is the one from Thailand and Baku was no exception. Their competitors' average age was 26.4 at the 16th AIBA World Boxing Championships but they did not make their experience count, only securing three Olympic quotas and no medals. Thailand have achieved gold medals in each of the Olympic Games since 1996.
The other experienced squads present in Baku as follows: Colombia with an average age of 26.1, Italy with 25.7, Russia with 25.3, Canada with 25.2, China with 25.1 and Morocco with 25.0. Among these teams, Russia, China and Italy secured impressive results in Baku but will probably need to look towards the future post-2012.
The average age of the boxers on the podium in Baku was 23.55 while the gold medal winners were 23.9. The figures for the last edition of the championships in Milan were 23.38 and 24.2 respectively. The previous figures do not show any huge difference but we can safely conclude that in order to win a gold medal at a World Championships, the experience boxers are better equipped.
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