The AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event, where 26 Olympic quota places were available, came to an end today in Trabzon, Turkey. The host nation was in sensational form and won four gold medals while France, Ukraine, Lithuania, Ireland, Bulgaria and Russia each claimed one final victory.
Click HERE to see the full results
Turkey's European Championships bronze medallist Ferhat Pehlivan, a member of the his national team since 2006, used his experience to beat Bulgaria's multiple Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Aleksandar Aleksandrov, who had moved down a weight class this year. The final verdict in their Light Flyweight contest was a close 10:9 to Pehlivan who made the difference in the final round but overall both boxers were delighted with their Olympic quotas.
Turkey's Selcuk Eker, at 21 is already quite a prospect and will be one to watch in London; however his opponent in the Flyweight final, France's former AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Nordine Oubaali was just too good on the day. Oubaali was in rampant form as he prevailed to win in style 20:10. Oubaali can now prepare for his second participation at the Olympics Games after being in Beijing, where he lost to eventual winner Shiming Zou of China. Sweden's Salomo N'Tuve was jubilant at the Frenchman's victory as it secured him the third and final quota place of that division.
Former European Junior Champion and two-time National Champion, 20-year-old Pavlo Ishchenko, who will be the youngest Ukrainian boxer at the London 2012 Olympic Games, walked over to the Bantamweight gold medal following his rival's, Azerbaijan's former Russian National Champion Magomed Abdulkhamidov, withdrawal. Denmark's Dennis Ceylan and Georgia's Merab Turkadze both received the quota in this weight class.
Lithuania's 20-year-old Youth Olympic Games and European Youth Champion winner Evaldas Petrauskas made a real breakthrough at the elite boxers in Trabzon. The young Lithuanian competitor walked over to the gold medal following Belarus' European Championships silver medallist Vazgen Safaryants who had injured himself in the semi-finals.
One of the day's most important fights of the day, with only one quota place available in the Light Welterweight category, was held between the host nation's 22-year-old Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament silver medallist Yakup Sener and France's Chabane Fehim. Both fighters were on equal terms after three minutes but Sener connected with more punches in the latter stages to triumph 16:11 and book his place for the Olympic Games.
Germany's three-time National Champion Patrick Wojcicki achieved a career highlight in Trabzon while his opponent in the Welterweight final, Ireland's Adam Nolan, also reached new levels. Wojcicki led 9:8 after the second round but Nolan mounted a quality fight back in the final stages to take the gold medal. The Irishman was given the victory with the score tied at 14:14.
England's former AIBA Cadet World Champion Anthony Ogogo secured the GB Team's seventh Olympic quota but was unable to fight Turkey's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Adem Kilicci in the Middleweight final following an arm injury sustained in training.
The host nation's fourth gold medal was achieved by Bahram Muzaffer, who had eliminated the favourite in the Light Heavyweight class, Ireland's 18-year-old European Champion Joseph Ward, in the preliminary stages of the tournament. For the gold, he triumphed over Azerbaijan's AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist young Vatan Huseynli. Belarus' Mikhail Dauhaliavets was awarded the remaining quota following Muzaffer's victory.
Bulgaria's 29-year-old two-time European Championships silver medallist Tervel Pulev battled, for the last remaining Heavyweight quota, Moldova's surprise package in this event, Vladimir Cheles, who had moved up to the division just before this qualification tournament. Following a very tactical first round, the experienced Bulgarian boxer dominated the second and third to win the contest 12:6. Tervel Pulev ensured Bulgaria's have three representatives in the boxing event at the Olympic Games, he joins former AIBA World Champion Detelin Dalakliev and veteran Aleksandar Aleksandrov.
Russia's 23-year-old defending European Champion Magomed Omarov and France's Youth Olympic Games winner Tony Yoka, who will be turning to 20 later this year, both booked their places for London 2012 follwing their respective victories in the semi-final stages. The Russian Super Heavyweight star opened a small 4:2 lead after the first round after which French ringside decided to throw in the towel to avoid any possible aggravation to an injury Yoka had been carrying through the tournament.
The European qualifications have now finished and all athletes that achieved that career-defining quota place can prepare for their participation at the XXX Olympiad in London which begins on the 27th July this summer.
Click HERE to see the full list of those who achieved Olympic quota places in Trabzon
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