The Kosovo Boxing Federation hosted its first ever international tournament in the official EUBC calendar, the Lah Nimani Youth Tournament which was held in Prishtina, the capital city of the country.
Kosovo is a developing nation in the boxing world, with their athletes having competed in all AIBA events since 2012 when they joined the International Boxing Association as an affiliated National Federation.
This tournament showcased some world class boxing, with a lot of success for some of the impending Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympians.
Athlete of the tournament
Bulgaria’s defending EUBC European Junior Champion Daniel Asenov is one of the best youth Flyweight class (52 kg) boxers in the world, and he has secured qualification for Nanjing 2014 at the recent AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia, where he showcased some top quality boxing.
The 17-year-old star competed at the Bantamweight class (56 kg) in the Lah Nimani Youth Tournament, where he defeated Albania’s National Champion Krenar Zeneli and Hungary’s Istvan Enekes Youth Memorial Tournament winner Istvan Dernarecz in the gold medal bout.
Asenov will now continue to prepare for the upcoming Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, where his aim is to win at least a bronze medal.
Team of the tournament
Four Hungarian youth boxers claimed gold medals in Kosovo, which enabled the country to top the team rankings in Prishtina.
Youth National Champion and AIBA Youth World Championships competitor Nandor Csoka has moved back to his original Flyweight class (52 kg), and won his final bout over Bulgaria’s Mehmed Chinovliev.
All of Hungary’s three Youth Olympians Richard Konnyu, Richard Toth and AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Laszlo Komor secured titles in Prishtina.
Richard Konnyu defeated Bulgaria’s strong Iliyan Markov, Richard Toth was too quick for Slovenia’s AIBA Road to Sofia Program member Edin Sejdinovic, while Laszlo Komor knocked out Bulgaria’s Dimitar Bozhilov in their rematch in the Lah Nimani Youth Tournament.
Surprises of the tournament
Kosovo’s Edmond Zefi is relatively unknown at international level, but he was able to win the gold medal on home soil following two excellent triumphs over Bulgaria’s Junior National Champion 17-year-old Petar Aleksandrov, and F.Y.R. of Macedonia’s Visar Jahi.
Croatia’s Zvonimir Rebolj also won gold, put himself into the spotlight when he defeated Bulgaria’s AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Nikolay Chavdarov in the Middleweight class (75 kg).
Ones to watch in the future
Montenegro’s new hope Kosta Bozovic had to miss the AIBA Youth World Championships with Jovan Sipcic chosen to represent the country, but he made up for his disappointment with a memorable performance in the event in Prishtina.
Bozovic comes from a boxing family, and his elder brother Marko is a member of Montenegro’s elite national team.
The 17-year-old Bozovic stopped Slovenia’s Miha Vindis in the final of the Heavyweight class (91 kg) and secured the biggest win of his career so far.
Stat/fact of the tournament
F.Y.R. of Macedonia sent five boxers to the Lah Nimani Tournament in Prishtina.
Among them, Visar Jahi and Osman Demirov claimed silver medals in the event which displayed the boxing potential that the country currently has.
The local organisers of the tournament had to divide the participants into two groups at the 60, 69 and 91 kg weight classes due the number of the competitors.
Gold medal winners at the Lah Nimani Youth Tournament
52 kg : Nandor Csoka, Hungary
54 kg : Dafina Abrashi, Kosovo
56 kg : Daniel Asenov, Bulgaria
60 kg : Edmond Zefi, Kosovo
60 kg : Richard Konnyu, Hungary
64 kg : Richard Toth, Hungary
69 kg : Reald Buja, Albania
69 kg : Marijan Rajic, Croatia
75 kg : Zvonimir Rebolj, Croatia
81 kg : Ardit Delijaj, Kosovo
91 kg : Toni Filipi, Croatia
91 kg : Kosta Bozovic, Montenegro
+91 kg : Laszlo Komor, Hungary