Nikolayev Ladies Cup in Ukraine
Following the London 2012 Olympic Games where women's boxing made its debut the first major female tournament was held over the weekend in Nikolayev in Ukraine.
Sixty female future hopes from nine nations competed for the medals at the Nikolayev Ladies Cup, they were from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Finland, France, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Sweden and the host country Ukraine.
Natalya Knyaz, Ukraine's European Championships bronze medallist, has been a member of the national female squad since 2008 and as expected she claimed the first gold medal for the host country in Nikolayev. Knyaz won over Poland's teenager Sandra Brodacka winning the gold medal, while Sweden's Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament silver medallist Elin Roennlund had to travel back home in a lack of any medal.
Ukraine's former European Champion 25-year-old Tatyana Kob could not secure the most expected quota for the London 2012 Olympics but had decided to continue training at least until the Rio de Janeiro Games. Ukraine's flyweight hopeful defeated Russia's European Youth Champion Ulyana Koshkarova by 12:8 in the final and secured the host nation's second gold in Nikolayev.
Ivanna Krupenia, Ukraine's European Championships silver medallist 22-year-old, eliminated her biggest rival Azerbaijan's Ukrainian-descent Anna Alimardanova in the quarter-final stage of the event and following that battle she overwhelmed France's experienced Delphine Mancini by a large margin of points in the bantamweight final.
France's rising star, AIBA Women's World Championships quarter-finalist Malva Hammadouche has won various international tournaments in the past year therefore her final victory at the Nikolayev Ladies Cup did not come as a surprise. She triumphed over Sweden's Linnea Strandell who eliminated Poland's AIBA Women's World Championships silver medallist Sandra Kruk in the semi-final.
Oleksandr Sydorenko, Ukraine's European Championships bronze medallist veteran, who competed in five AIBA Women's World Championships, won the Olympic lightweight class in Nikolayev. She eliminated Finland's EU Championships bronze medallist Mira Potkonen and Moldova's Liliya Venglovscaia on the road to the final where she met with Poland's AIBA Women's World Championships silver medallist 21-year-old Magdalena Stelmach who is one of the tallest female boxers in the lightweight class. Their narrow battle ended with 11:10 in the favour of Sydorenko.
Ukraine's new sensation AIBA Women's World Championships competitor Yana Sydor who began boxing only three years ago, secured a further gold medal for the host nation. The 24-year-old light welterweight class boxer triumphed over her compatriot, Svetlana Tertychna by 13:7 in the gold medal contest.
Russia's AIBA Youth World Champion and European Youth Champion 19-year-old Yaroslava Yakushina moved down a weight class and proved again that her skills will be enough to do great things among the elite boxing fraternity. At the welterweight final she dominated the bout against Poland's Natalia Hollinska and claimed Russia's only gold medal in the Nikolayev Ladies Cup.
Love Holgersson, AIBA Youth World Champion and European Youth Champion 19-year-old, is Sweden's new secret weapon in the Olympic middleweight class. She had an unbeaten record in the junior and youth level, therefore she is a great future hope in the women's boxing. In the gold medal contest Holgersson triumphed over Belarus' multiple National Champion Viktoriya Kebikova who eliminated Russia's Irina Tsarkova in the semi-final.
The last gold medal of the competition was achieved by Poland's newcomer in the national squad, current National Champion Wioleta Michalska who was too strong for Ukraine's Marina Polyak at the 81kg weight division. The final verdict of their scoring was 22:7 to the young Polish hope.
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