The Gee Bee Tournament recently finished in Helsinki, Finland and was held in March this year rather than its usual April date due to the upcoming Nordic Championships which will be held in Tampere.
Athlete of the tournament
Finland’s Mira Potkonen won 85% of her international bouts in 2014, and has started 2015 superbly as well.
Potkonen claimed the gold medal at the Golden Girl Championships in Boras in January where she was awarded the best boxer trophy, and reached the top of the podium at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia as well.
The Finnish star made it three in a row in front of her home fans in Helsinki as she eliminated Poland’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships silver medallist Kinga Siwa and Sweden’s AIBA Women’s Junior World Champion Ida Lundblad en route to the final.
She then defeated China’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games winner Yin Junhua in the gold medal bout to signify her growing reputation as one of the best women’s Lightweight (60 kg) boxers in the world.
Team of the tournament
Kazakhstan had four finalists in the Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, and three were able to win the gold medals.
Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner and National Championships bronze medallist Azat Makhmetov won gold first when he triumphed over Ireland’s new talent Myles Casey in a hectic battle at the Flyweight class (52 kg).
Arman Rysbek put himself into the spotlight in 2011 when he won the National Championships of Kazakhstan, and claimed Kazakhstan’s second gold in Helsinki at Light Heavyweight (81 kg).
Kazakhstan’s National Championships silver medallist Nurzhan Bekzatov dominated the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) in the Gee Bee Tournament where he was too strong for Russia’s University World Champion Nikita Stogov in the gold medal bout.
Surprise of the tournament
Netherlands’ Roy Korving achieved some great results at the youth level in 2013, but he was not the top favourite at Heavyweight (91 kg) in Helsinki.
Despite his perceived chances, he exceeded expectations and defeated Finland’s national team member Tomi Honka in the semi-final.
Korving continued his excellent tournament by defeating Kazakhstan’s Arbek Abduganiyev’s weak points in the gold medal bout.
One to watch
England’s Peter McGrail was a bronze medallist at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and in his first ever international elite tournament in Helsinki the teenager defeated all of his rivals.
The 19-year-old Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer eliminated Finland’s top favourite Matti Koota in the quarter-finals, and following that he beat Ireland’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kurt Walker, and Russia’s Governor Cup winner Nazir Balayev for the gold.
McGrail is a talented hope of England who needs to be watched in the upcoming events of 2015.
Stat/fact of the tournament
79 boxers took part in the 34th edition of the Gee Bee Tournament in the Helsinki Sports Centre.
List of the winners in Helsinki
Women’s 54 kg: Liu Piaopiao, China
Women’s 60 kg: Mira Potkonen, Finland
Men’s 49 kg: Brendan Irvine, Ireland
Men’s 52 kg: Azat Makhmetov, Kazakhstan
Men’s 56 kg: Peter McGrail, England
Men’s 60 kg: Shamil Askerov, Russia
Men’s 64 kg: Konstantin Bogomazov, Russia
Men’s 69 kg, Group A: Adam Nolan, Ireland
Men’s 69 kg, Group B: Clarence Goyeram, Sweden
Men’s 75 kg: Max Van der Pas, Netherlands
Men’s 75 kg, Group B: Kaupo Arro, Estonia
Men’s 81 kg, Group A: Jere Jokinen, Finland
Men’s 81 kg, Group B: Arman Rysbek, Kazakhstan
Men’s 91 kg: Roy Korving, Netherlands
Men’s +91 kg: Nurzhan Bekzatov, Kazakhstan