The FISU World University Boxing Championships in the Thai city of Chiang Mai drew to a close on Saturday with thirteen gold medals awarded across the three women’s and ten men’s weight categories. The Thailand team was in sparkling form on route to earning an impressive four titles, with the Russia and Kazakhstan teams leaving the tournament with three gold medals apiece.
The finals took place across two days, and it was the Women’s Lightweight (60kg) category that kicked off the deciders, with Thailand’s Ratchadaporn Saoto defeating Russia’s Natalia Shadrina in an engrossing contest. Saoto had already beaten the Kazakh favourite Nazym Ishchanova in the semis, but kept enough in reserve to power through to earn the first gold of the week to the delight of the crowd.
Russia’s Vadim Kudriakov and Chinese Taipei’s Po-Wei Tu both arrived in Thailand full of confidence off the back of excellent Junior and Youth performances over the last few years, but it was the Russian who outscored his opponent to win the Men’s Light Flyweight (49kg) title. The Bantamweight (56kg) Yuttapong Tongdee then won Thailand’s second gold of the day with a convincing win over Japanese revelation Yuki Yamauchi, who firmly established himself as a name to watch for the future.
In the Light Welterweight (64kg) Final, Ukraine’s Mger Oganisian put in the best performance of his career to defeat Russia’s Alisa Sharifov, before Ukraine Otamans’ WSB boxer Valerii Kharlamov overcame Artem Garashchuk to win the Middleweight (75kg) gold. The Russian team then finally found the golden touch as Anton Zaitcev beat France’s National Champion Dylan Bregeon to the Heavyweight (91kg) title.
The second day of finals began with the Women’s Flyweights (51kg), and in another sensational bout between two exciting Thai and Japanese boxers. It was the impressive footwork of Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat that saw her through to a popular win against Sana Kawano. “I used the right tactics against a tough Japanese boxer and tried to be aggressive. To be honest, I had to use all of my skills to beat her,” said a delighted Raksat afterwards.
Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen bounced back from a disappointing Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a stirring victory over Poland’s Natalia Hollinska to win the Women’s Middleweight (75kg) title, before Tanes Ongjunta earned Thailand’s fourth gold of the tournament by defeating French newcomer Malik Nahim to win the Flyweight (52kg) title.
Kazakhstan’s Didar Utelbayev once again proved why he is one of the most promising Lightweight (60kg) boxers in the world as he beat Russia’s Rustem Mustafaev to gold with an emphatic display, before Khariton Agrba turned the tables for the Russian team with a strong win against the Kazakh team’s latest Welterweight (69kg) prospect Bekbolat Kuramyssov.
Kazakhstan’s Ali Akhmedov delivered another powerful display to beat experienced Belarusian Mikhail Dauhaliavets by TKO to earn the Light Heavyweight (81kg) gold, before compatriot Nursultan Amanzholov completed a strong finish for the Kazakh team with victory over the Russian Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Sergey Smolin.
List of winners at the FISU World University Boxing Championships
Women’s 51 kg: Chuthamat Raksat, Thailand
Women’s 60 kg: Ratchadaporn Saoto, Thailand
Women’s 75 kg: Nien-Chin Chen, Chinese Taipei
Men’s 49 kg: Vadim Kudriakov, Russia
Men’s 52 kg: Tanes Ongjunta, Thailand
Men’s 56 kg: Yuttapong Tongdee, Thailand
Men’s 60 kg: Didar Utelbayev, Kazakhstan
Men’s 64 kg: Mger Oganisian, Ukraine
Men’s 69 kg: Khariton Agrba, Russia
Men’s 75 kg: Valerii Kharlamov, Ukraine
Men’s 81 kg: Ali Akhmedov, Kazakhstan
Men’s 91 kg: Anton Zaitcev, Russia
Men’s +91 kg: Nursultan Amanzholov, Kazakhstan
Photo: Middleweight medal ceremony