The tangible buzz of excitement in Kazakhstan surrounding the forthcoming Women’s World Boxing Championships is fully shared by the country’s athletes as they look to compile a record medal haul along with Olympic qualification at the competition starting 19 May.
Head coach Vadim Prysiazhniuk oversaw the selection following a series of sparring sessions between the country’s best boxers, and believes that team’s new-found confidence could be the key to their success in Astana.
“Everything is going according to our plans in the training schedule and we have had important sparring sessions in Astana. I think our girls are more confident knowing they will box on home soil and we are looking forward to big support from our boxing fans. Women’s boxing has developed everywhere in the world so there are no easy matches, but I think the strongest teams now are the United States, China and Russia. We took two medals in Jeju in 2014 and now we want to show our very best here in Astana,” said Vadim Prysiazhniuk at the team’s gym.
Nazym Kyzaibay once again joins the side having claimed Kazakhstan’s first ever title at flyweight at the Championships in Jeju two years ago. She will now box at light flyweight and be determined to take the gold in her home city, with Zhaina Shekerbekova occupying the flyweight berth.
Further gold hopes come in the form of experienced light heavyweight Yulduz Mamatkulova and heavyweight Lazzat Kungeibayeva, both with World Championship silver medals already to their names. A quarter finalist two years ago, Dina Zholaman is among the favourites at bantamweight, while Rimma Volosenko replaces Nazym Ishchanova in the side at lightweight and Aizhan Khodzhabekova joins the team at featherweight.
“I want to show my development in Astana and win a medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. I am working hard and I know it will be difficult but my relatives and friends are supporting me so I believe. All my teammates are also training hard to surprise our fans and we want to take the opportunity to thank them,” said Kazakh newcomer Aizhan Khodzhabekova.
The Kazakhstan team in full for the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships:
48 kg: Nazym Kyzaibay
51 kg: Zhaina Shekerbekova
54 kg: Dina Zholaman
57 kg: Aizhan Khodzhabekova
60 kg: Rimma Volosenko
64 kg: Zarina Tsoloyeva
69 kg: Valentina Khalzova
75 kg: Violetta Knyazeva
81 kg: Yulduz Mamatkulova
+81 kg: Lazzat Kungeibayeva