The seventh edition of the Silesian Women's Open Tournament was held for elite, youth and junior women boxers in Gliwice, Poland over the weekend and showcased some really exciting talent. The event was the third women's international competition since the successful introduction of the sport on the Olympic calendar.
Regarded by many as one of the best junior women boxer on the planet, 16-year-old AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist Alicia Holzken of Netherlands once again made her mark as she continued to dominate, winning her weight class at the tournament. She will now be primed for the European Women's Junior Championships where she will surely be the favourite to take the title.
Amongst the youth athletes, it was Poland's top athletes who dominated the Silesian Open with their top youth Bantamweight fighter Laura Grzyb triumphing over Ukraine's AIBA Women's Junior World Champion Viktoriya Virt whilst Paulina Jakubczyk, AIBA Women's Junior World Championships bronze medallist Aneta Rygielska, Hanna Solecka and European Junior Champion Patrycja Woronowicz also won their divisions.
Poland's current National Champion at the lightest weight class, 19-year-old Sandra Brodacka, who competed at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Turkey last year, is another of her country's great hopes. At the Silesian Open Tournament she triumphed over compatriot Patrycja Bednarek to win 5:0 in the first elite final of the event.
The host nation's European Championships bronze medallist Sandra Drabik went down a weight class after last year and is now fighting in the Olympic Flyweight (51kg) category. The Polish starlet won the gold medal after beating Czech Republic's AIBA Women's World Championships competitor Jana Juranova by a large margin of points.
Poland's National Champion and former Youth National Champion, 20-year-old Martyna Letkiewicz was awarded the best boxer trophy in Gliwice after she dominated all her contests at Bantamweight (56kg). Letkiewicz was on a different level to her final opponent, Czech Republic's Lenka Kardova whose corner threw in the towel.
In the absence of AIBA Women's World Championships silver medallist Sandra Kruk, Polish newcomer Beata Blaszczyk won the Featherweight class in Gliwice after also beating her teammate Jadwiga Stanczak 5:0 and secure her first victory at international level.
20-year-old AIBA Women's World Championships silver medallist Magdalena Stelmach went down a weight division and is now competing at the Olympic Lightweight (60kg) class. She is one of the tallest boxers in this category and did not give anything away against Natalia Kowalska who was outpointed by Stelmach in the gold medal contest.
Czech Republic's newcomer to the national squad, Ester Konecna, who lost in a previous Polish tournament, returned to the country in better form. The young Czech Light Welterweight (64kg) showed her best ever form to overpower Poland's Beata Koroniecka in the final.
These are exciting times in Poland, with the sport developing at break-neck speed. The future does look bright for these young prodigies.
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