The preliminaries continued on the third competition day of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest, Romania where the winners of the Middleweight class (75 kg) and the Heavyweight category (+81 kg) secured a guaranteed bronze medal in the competition.
Nouchka Fontijn is Netherlands’ best hope for a gold in the tournament, and defeated one of her main rivals in Russia’s Iaroslava Iakushina, which saw her advance through to the semi-finals.
Bout of the day
Nouchka Fontijn was earned a silver medal in the last edition of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Rotterdam on home soil, and her fellow Dutch boxer Maxine Koelemeij who won the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria on February.
The head coach of the Dutch national boxing team Mr. Nigel Davies decided to send both athletes to Bucharest, with Nouchka competing in the Olympic Middleweight class (75 kg), whilst Maxine has moved up to the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg).
The 26-year-old Fontijn trains in the city of Rotterdam, and had a difficult opponent in the quarter-finals, with Russia’s Iaroslava Iakushina a three time national Champion, and a gold medallist at the 2011 AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships.
Fontijn started the fight better, but her Russian opponent raised her game in the second frame.
The Dutch star turned up the heat in the final round, dazzling the watching crowd, and the win was enough to ensure victory over one of her main rivals in Bucharest.
She goes on to meet Hungary’s AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Timea Nagy in the semi-finals.
Team of the day
After a fantastic opening session on Saturday, the Hungarian team had another perfect competition day in Bucharest, where four of their boxers advanced to the next stage of the Championships.
Their Light Flyweight class (48 kg) boxer Virginia Barankai defeated Slovenia’s top female athlete Mateja Rajtericm whose experience was not enough to beat the young Hungarian in the second preliminary round.
Former European Union Champion Bianka Nagy had to compete at her very best against Sweden’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships silver medallist Patricia Berghult to secure her place in the Top 8 in Bucharest.
AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Timea Nagy’s victory over Turkey’s Serengul Bayrak ensured that she secured the first medal of the Hungarian delegation in the continental competition.
Their second guaranteed medal was achieved by two-time AIBA World Champion Maria Kovacs, who eliminated the Lithuanian teenager Kristina Rimkute in their quarter-final bout.
Surprise of the day
Although Turkey’s 21-year-old Emine Bozduman is a two-time National Champion, and won the gold medal in the European Union Women’s Championships in Keszthely last year, she was the underdog in her fight against Russia’s former AIBA World Champion Irina Sinetskaya.
It was the younger Turkish fighter who shocked her 36-year-old veteran Russian opponent, who won the Heavyweight class (+81 kg) contest by unanimous decision.
One to watch
Poland’s new national team member Kinga Siwa eliminated Turkey’s two-time AIBA World Champion Gulsum Tatar in the first preliminary round, and she continued her winning path against France’s EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion Wendy Couvercelle, who was a potential medal favourite in the Light Welterweight class (64 kg).
The Polish boxer turns 30 in July, and is enjoying the best form of her career in Bucharest.
Quote of the day
“I was surprised in the first round when my Russian opponent, Iakushina attacked me as me and my coach thought she will be waiting for me, so we had to change my tactic very quickly in the bout. It was not my best contest but I think I won the first and the final round clearly so I am happy to advance to the semi-finals. Used to be that I performed well enough in the semi-finals in various tournaments and following that I was wrong in the finals but I hope I can change this here in Bucharest where my target is the gold nothing else,” said Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn after her victory in the quarter-finals.
Twenty-eight bouts will be held on the fourth competition day in Bucharest where athletes of the 51 kg, 54 kg, 57 kg and 81 kg will be in action on Tuesday. The winners of the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) on Day 4 are also guaranteed medallists of the championships.