Boxers from Uzbekistan put on a masterful display to dominate the first day of finals at the AIBA Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event in Qian’an, China, claiming four of the six gold medals available.
While in the all-important box-offs, light heavyweight Erkin Adylbek Uulu claimed Kyrgyzstan’s first Rio 2016 Olympic Games spot, as fighters from Mongolia and Kazakhstan secured two qualification spots each and Australia’s Daniel Lewis took the final middleweight place. These six joined the 20 male and six female boxers who had already confirmed their presence in Rio de Janeiro in August, courtesy of reaching their respective finals.
Uzbek flyweight Hasanboy Dusmatov set the tone for the evening once again defeating the Philippines’ Rogen Ladon in a major final. Just like he had in the 2015 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships Dusmatov proved too powerful for his opponent.
In the division’s box-off Mongolia’s Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag triumphed over Devendro Singh Laishram to claim the first Rio 2016 qualification spot of the afternoon.
2015 ASBC Asian Confederation bantamweight boxing champion and London 2012 competitor Chatchai Butdee proved far too quick for India’s Shiva Thapa in the gold medal bout. Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev took the division’s final Rio 2016 berth by defeating the Philippines’ Mario Fernandez.
Kazakh Zhanibek Alimkhanuly celebrated his 23rd birthday in scintillating style, as he dismantled crowd favourite Minggang Zhao in the middleweight final. The 2013 AIBA World Boxing champion looked back to his very best.
Australia’s Daniel Lewis will be joining Alimkhanuly at the upcoming Olympic Games following his hard fought win over Shinebayar Narmandakh in the middleweight box-off. The 22 year-old was in no doubt as to the reason for his success.
“Hard work pays off, trust me when I say this. Never ever give up on your dreams. My success is nothing else just 12 years of hard work,” said Lewis.
Uzbekistan’s second gold medal of the day came thanks to Shakhobiddin Zoirov who upset China’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Jianguan Hu to win the flyweight crown.
Competition was fierce in the class’ box-off with Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev, the 2013 ASBC Asian champion, facing his successor Olzhas Sattibayev from Kazakhstan, the 2015 ASBC Asian Championship flyweight gold medal winner. The Kazakh eventually emerged triumphant from a pulsating encounter.
Matters were more clear cut in the welterweight class. Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov had few difficulties overcoming Thailand’s Saylom Ardee to win gold, while London 2012 veteran Tuvshinbat Byamba secured Mongolia’s fourth Olympic qualification spot by defeating the division’s injured number one seed, Eumir Felix Marcial from the Philippines.
A fabulous final round saw light heavyweight Elshod Rasulov secure Uzbekistan’s fourth success in a golden night for the nation. It was then left to Kyrgyzstan’s Uulu to win his first Rio 2016 qualification spot as he showed impressive stamina to beat Turkmenistan’s Aziz Achilov in the box-off.
List of the winners in the AIBA Asian & Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event
49 kg: Hasanboy Dusmatov, Uzbekistan
52 kg: Shakhobiddin Zoirov, Uzbekistan
56 kg: Chatchai Butdee, Thailand
69 kg: Shakhram Giyasov, Uzbekistan
75 kg: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Kazakhstan
81 kg: Elshod Rasulov, Uzbekistan