The Golden Belt Tournament was recently held in Craiova, Romania, where the prestigious event saw many exciting men’s and women’s boxers compete for glory.
Bout of the finals
Romania’s defending EUBC European Youth Continental Champion Andrei Aradoaie joined the elite level earlier this year, and the talented boxer advanced to the final of the Golden Belt Tournament where he had to battle Egypt’s experienced Abdelrahman Salah El-Araby.
Aradoaie has aspirations of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the 19-year-old enjoyed an exceptional final over his tough opponent.
The Light Heavyweight (81 kg) star worked more than his Egyptian opponent in the opening round, while he continued his excellent form throughout the rest of the bout to claim his first ever international elite tournament title.
Team of the event
Egypt finished top of the team rankings after winning four gold medals in Craiova.
London 2012 Olympian and Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Hesham Yehya Mahmoud Abdelaal achieved their first gold at Bantamweight (56 kg) when he defeated Ukraine’s Ivan Soloviov.
Mohamed Eslam Aly also qualified to the London 2012 Olympic Games, and used his experience to outperform Korea’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Lim Hyun Chul.
Mohamed Walid Said continued the gold rush for Egypt when he beat Romania’s two-time National Champion Marian Pita in the Welterweight (69 kg) final.
Ahmed Issa Madian Kassem secured Egypt’s fourth gold and his first in a European based event by edging a close bout over Korea’s Song Hwap Yeong in the Super Heavyweight (+91 kg) final.
Surprise of the event
England’s National Champion Natasha Gale replaced former AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall as their women’s Middleweight (75 kg) representative in this tournament, and defeated Hungary’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Petra Szatmari in the quarter-finals, before outpointing Egypt’s Rana Elsayed Mohamed in the semi-finals.
Her final opponent was Ukraine’s Maria Badulina Bova, who claimed the gold medal at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China.
Despite the fantastic ability of her Ukrainian opponent, Gale achieved one of the best performances of her career as she won the bout, and a well deserved gold medal in the process.
Hungary’s EUBC European Youth Continental Champion Roland Galos is a promising boxer who claimed the gold medal at the Lightweight class (60 kg) in Craiova.
Galos beat Ukraine’s Stanislav Batiy in the semi-final, and triumphed over Egypt’s Bocskai Memorial Tournament silver medallist Mahmoud Abdelaal in the final of the Golden Belt Tournament.
Korea’s Summer Universiade silver medallist Kim In Kyu reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and won his first major event at Flyweight (52 kg) after defeating England’s new national team member Blane Hyland.
Quote of the event
“It was great that I could win in Craiova. My most difficult bout was the first one against the Korean. I tried a new tactic in the tournament, as I did not fight too close, but just worked from the longer distance to stop my opponents with jabs. I hope my injury will be not too serious just before the EUBC European Continental Championships,” said Hungary’s Roland Galos who won the Men’s Lightweight class (60 kg) in Craiova.
Gold medal winners in Craiova
- Women’s 51 kg: Snizhana Kholodkova, Ukraine
- Women’s 60 kg: Natalia Shadrina, Russia
- Women’s 75 kg: Natasha Gale, England
- Men’s 49 kg: Jose Maphosa, England
- Men’s 52 kg: Kim In Kyu, Korea
- Men’s 56 kg: Hesham Yehya Mahmoud Abdelaal, Egypt
- Men’s 60 kg: Roland Galos, Hungary
- Men’s 64 kg: Mohamed Eslam Aly, Egypt
- Men’s 69 kg: Mohamed Walid Said, Egypt
- Men’s 75 kg: Felix Cash, England
- Men’s 81 kg: Andrei Aradoaie, Romania
- Men’s 91 kg: Catalin Cristea, Romania
- Men’s +91 kg: Ahmed Issa Madian Kassem, Egypt