It was the Fly and Bantamweight fighters who took to the ring on the third day of competition at the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana, Kazakhstan, and the action did not disappoint with some sensational bouts in both weight categories throughout the afternoon and evening sessions.
People's Republic of Korea's Jong Chol Pak was in the mood during the first fight of the day, getting his tactics spot on from the first bell, the young prodigy was too good for his Pakistani opponent Ajmal Faisal. Pak ensured his passage to the quarter-final stages with an intelligent display that saw his triumph 20:8. There were further demonstrations of poise as Indonesia's Southeast Asian Games winner and Asian Championships quarter-finalist Julio Bria from Indonesia did the business against Iraq's 19-year-old Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament winner Murtadha Raad Qassim Al-Sudani, working the body to perfection to win 21:9 and set-up a meeting with Asian Games quarter-finalist Pak in the next round.
Day 3, Session 5 - Full Results
Day 3, Session 6 - Full Results
Asian Champion and Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner Yong Chang of China looked classy in his bout with World Combat Games silver medallist Safoviddin Yusufi, a clever use of the jab saw him move deeper into the competition after a 17:13 victory over the 19-year-old Tajik. The vast numbers of supporters were delighted with the performance of local hero, Astana International Team Tournament winner Ilyas Suleimenov, who had to be at his absolute best in a pulsating fight against Kyrgyzstan's 20-year-old Memorial Tournament winner Azat Usenaliev. It was end to end with both boxers throwing everything in their arsenal but in the end it was Suleimenov who made the difference to win this world-class fight 19:16. He will now face Chang with a semi-final place at stake.
A calculating approach by Japanese orthodox fighter Katsuaki Susa against Sri Lanka's Commonwealth Championships bronze medallist Dilanka Pattiarachchi saw him ease past his rival 22:10. Two-time Asian Games bronze medallist Susa will have to keep up his high-level of performance when he faces Adel Almatbouli in the quarter-finals. The 17-year-old Jordanian came out on top in the high-scoring bout with Yu-Che Lin from Chinese Taipei, Almatbouli triumphed 25:21.
Pakistan's Muhammad Waseem then showed quality footwork to outmanoeuvre his opponent and inflict defeat on Zarip Jumayev from Turkmenistan. Waseem made his experience count with a controlled 15:9 win. Star attraction Tugstsogt Nyambayar once again demonstrated his status as one of the favourites for the Flyweight title as he dominated India's Asian Champion and Commonwealth Games winner Suranjoy Mayengbam. Mongolia's AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nyambayar looked irrepressible throughout his 30:10 victory and the spectators will be avidly looking forward to Monday's showdown between him and Waseem. All four Flyweight semi-finalists will be rewarded with a quota place for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Myong Il Kim made it double-delight for the People's Republic of Korea as he powered past Myanmar's Kyaw Latt 17:7 in the first Bantamweight contest of the day. Kim will now pit his wits in the next round versus the tall Japanese Beijing Olympian Satoshi Shimizu, who defeated Asian Championships bronze medallist coached by Uzbekistan's Murat Ergashev, Chih-Yuan Kao 26:14 in a riveting encounter. The man from Japan tried to keep his distance but the fast Taiwanese boxer led 7:6 after the first round. Kao received a warning in the last round as Shimizu used all his physical advantage to turn the fight to his advantage to win.
Exhibitions of the strength in depth of this division in the region continued as 18-year-old Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Shiva Thapa progressed against Afghanistan's Mohd Nooristani. The Indian fighter, also a silver medallist at the recent Grand Prix in Usti nad Labem, outpointed his rival in composed style to win 15:7. Thapa will now face Athens Olympic Games silver medallist and Asian Games winner, veteran Worapoj Petchkoon from Thailand in the quarter-finals after the Thai skilfully dispatched Pakistan's Naimatullah 15:6.
It was then a tour de force by Arab fighters as first Iran's Armin Amjadian beat South Korea's Dojae Lee, then Syria's Wessam Salamana gained control of his bout with teenager Yakub Meredov before Ammar Hasan from Iraq left it late to progress at the expense of Kyrgyzstan's Omurbek Malabekov. 19-year-old Asian Youth Championships bronze medallist Amjadian ensured he faced Salamana in the next round after winning 17:11. Syria's finest was too quick and too hungry for his Turkmen rival as he made his speed count with a 19:7 victory. Hasan came out on top after a thriller against Malabekov that ended 15:14 for the Iraqi.
The last bout of the day saw China's Asian Games silver medallist Jiawei Zhang control Filipino Joegin Ladon with some precise punching as he booked his place in the next stages against Ammar Hasan after triumphing 13:8.
The preliminary stage of the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualification ended today in Astana with 22 out of the 28 entered nations still with at least one athlete left in the competition. Kyrgyzstan and Iran both have six boxers while China, India, Japan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan each have five fighters in the last eight.
Tomorrow will witness five weight categories entertaining the growing crowds, from Light Welter up to Heavyweight. Some big names are set to take to the ring with, in the morning session, the up and coming Kazak Daniyar Yeleussinov, described as truly world class by several pundits. Then also looking to progress, two-time AIBA World Champion Abbos Atoev from Uzbekistan who will face Malaysian Middleweight Muhamad Haron to move into the semi-finals.
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