Syria's boxing career has grown and strengthened over the past few years. This was evident at the latest tournaments and championships and despite of the political crisis in the country our favourite combat sport is well and truly alive and the country's best boxers are expectied to fight as part of the Olympic quota soon.
In Syria, there are more than 300 elite male athletes and the number of young boxers is already over 1,000. In recent years, the figures have increased and the quality of fighters has also had a chance to develop. This allowed Syria's best boxers to achieve glory and secured them several medals in the 2010 Asian Games as well as the 2011 Asian Championships.
Altogether there are 68 boxing clubs around Syria and 34 training centers for young boxers in all regions of the developing country. The best boxing teams in Syria can be found in the country's capital city Damascus and also Aleppo, Homs and Latakia where the Army and the Police also have a fair few excellent fighters.
Syria's former No.1 heavyweight, Asian Champion Nasser Al-Shami, claimed an outstanding bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and his performance resulted in a huge breakthrough for the country's boxing status.
Al-Shami's successful career has already come to an end but he does not leave the weight class empty in Syria. His younger compatriot, Sumar Ghossoun, also appears to be on the road to glory. He claimed the gold medal at the last edition of the Asian Games and at the Asian Championships as well, while he almost shocked Ukraine's current AIBA World Champion Oleksandr Usyk in an international tournament. The 22-year-old heavyweight boxer is certainly the brightest hope for Syria to reach an Olympic quota for London.
Sumar's older brother, Mohammad Ghossoun, is another flag bearer for the Syrian boxing team. He has secured several silver medals in his career, such as at the Asian Championships and at the Arab Games. The super heavyweight boxer is also a clear hopeful for the London Games. Asian Games bronze medallist bantamweight, Wessam Salamana as well as Army boxer and World Military Games silver medallist, 20-year-old Hussin Al-Masri both show great promise with skills worthy of many further medals in 2012.
Veteran Syrian fighter and multiple National Champion, Mohamed Doumerieh, has returned to the world of boxing after a three year break and will be doing his utmost to reach the Olympic quota. Syria's No.1 welterweight, Abdelmouen Aziz, the talented Alaaldin Ghossoun, the Utemisov Memorial Tournament silver medallist Manaf Assad, the National Champion Houzeifa Warda and Marwan Doumerieh are all excellent fighters and we look forward to seeing some important results from them in this Olympic year.
Syria's best hope at youth level is the 17-year-old Ahmad Al-Mawaldi who is part of the national elite team and was given the opportunity to represent the country at the 2nd Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Memorial Tournament.
Syria began the formation of a women's squad in 2010 and the first edition of the Syrian Women's National Championships was held in April last year. Two young Syrian athletes made Syria's international debut by competing at the 1st AIBA Women's Youth and Junior World Championships in Antalya, Turkey. The number of women boxers has increased from 45 to 65 in recent months in spite of the political crisis in Syria.
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