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Chinese boxers dominate proceedings on ASBC Asian finals day in Wulanchabu
by Michael O'Neill
August 18, 2015
Photo: Womenofchina.cn

(AUG 18)   Boxers from ‘powerhouse’ China totally dominated proceedings on finals day of the Asian Confederation championships in Wulanchabu but no titles this time round for India – a big blow with such an important year ahead including the AIBA World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan (an Olympic qualifier also) and of course the XXXI Olympiad in Rio.

So who were the Gold medal winners in Wulanchabu?

48 kg: E Naiyan, China
51 kg: Ren Cancan, China
54 kg: Peamwilai Laopeam, Thailand
57 kg: Tassamalee Thongjan, Thailand
60 kg: Oh Yeon Ji, Korea
64 kg: Yang Wenlu, China
69 kg: Gu Hong, China
75 kg: Dariga Shakimova, Kazakhstan
81 kg: Yang Xiaoli, China
+81 kg: Wang Shijin, China

Bout of the day:

China’s Yang Xiaoli defeated India’s Saweety Boora for the gold medal at Light Heavyweight (81 kg) in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships last November, and won another significant bout over her Indian opponent last week.

Team of the day:

Thailand claimed two excellent gold medals on the final competition day, beginning with a brilliant Bantamweight (56 kg) triumph for Asian Indoor Games winner Peamwilai Laopeam over Philippines’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nesthy Petecio.

Former AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Tassamalee Thongjan clinched a second Thai gold by using her footwork and timing to defeat DPR Korea’s Ri Kwang Suk in the Featherweight (57 kg) final.

“It was my third final in continental events against a boxer from DPR Korea, where previously I had won one and lost one bout. I had never fought Ri Kwang Suk before, but we built up a strong tactic by watching her contests here in Wulanchabu. I am very happy I could defend my throne in the Asian Championships, which gives me power to prepare well for the qualification events,” said Thailand’s Tassamalee Thongjan.

So let us look at the finals day as seen by the ASBC’s excellent communications team in Wulanchabu. This is how they saw things ringside :

Light Flyweight class (48 kg):

DPR Korea's Taipei City Cup winner U Yong Gum eliminated Korea's AIBA World Boxing Championships competitor Bak Cho Rong in the semi-final but she had a stronger rival in the gold medal bout. China's National Champion E Naiyan was added to their team ‘at the last minute’ but she beat Philippines' AIBA Women's World Champion Josie Gabuco and India's AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships silver medallist Sarjubala Shamjetsabam Deven route to the finals. Their contest was the first battle between host China and neighbouring DPR Korea in the day of the finals. The Chinese boxer was lacking in confidence in the opening round she recovered well and won the first gold medal of the championships.

Flyweight class (51 kg):

China's three-time AIBA Women's World Champion Ren Cancan returned to the world of boxing and she won her key contest against Kazakhstan's Incheon 2014 Asian Games silver medallist Zhaina Shekerbekova in the quarter-finals. In the final she met DPR Korea's Ri Hyang Mi silver medallist at the 2005 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Podolsk, Russia. Both boxers are highly experienced and their contest produced a hectic battle in Wulanchabu. Finally Ren’s hand was raised but Ri Hyang Mi also proved she returned to the world class level.

Bantamweight class (54 kg):

Philippines’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nesthy Petecio and Thailand’s former Asian Indoor Games winner and multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Peamwilai Laopeam fought for the gold medal in the Bantamweight class (54 kg).. Philippines and Thailand are the old rivals in the Southeast Asian region therefore both boxers know each other well. Petecio controlled the first part of the bout and looked as if she would be the winner of their close bout but Laopeam’s jabs were even more successful in the second part of the bout which ended with narrow Thai triumph.

Featherweight class (57 kg):

DPR Korea's Ri Kwang Suk eliminated Uzbekistan's new teenage sensation Yodgor Mirzoyeva in a spectacular bout in the semi-finals. The North Korean boxer had to fight for gold with a veteran, Thailand's AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Tassamalee Thongjan. Ri Kwang Suk could not repeat her previous performance and thus suffered a loss to Thongjan who delivered the second gold medal for Thailand.

Lightweight class (60 kg):

Korea's National Sports Festival winner Oh Yeon Ji shocked China’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games winner and AIBA World no.2 Yin Junhua in the semi-finals which was one of the biggest surprise of the entire competition. Her next opponent, DPR Korea’s Ri Tong Sun eliminated Vietnam’s Luu Thi Duyen and Tajikistan's London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist and AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Mavzuna Chorieva on the road to the finals. Their contest was more than a gold medal bout but the battle of the two Koreas. Oh Ji took the lead after the first round and she was able to keep the control until the final gong which delivered Korea’s historical gold medal of the championships.Do not write off though either Chorieva or Yin Junhua on the Road to Rio.

Light Welterweight class (64 kg):

DPR Korea's 2012 AIBA Women's World Champion Pak Kyong Ok returned to boxing and the veteran athlete was hungry for another gold medal despite the fact she had plenty of golds in her career. The 32-year-old boxer met for the gold with China’s National Champion Yang Wenlu who eliminated Tajikistan's youngster Shoira Zulkaynarova in the semi-final. Pak began the bout better but Yang Wenlu was able to change her tactics and this prove decisive.Another fine Chinese win then.

Welterweight class (69 kg):

China’s Gu Hong joined the team just before the start of the championships and she was fresh enough to beat Kazakhstan's AIBA Women's Youth World Champion Gaukhar Yermekbay in the semi-finals. Her final opponent, Uzbekistan's Shakhnoza Nizamova moved down one weight class just this year following her participation in the Olympic Middleweight class (75 kg). The 28-year-old Uzbek boxer won two contests in Wulanchabu in the earlier stages but wanted Gold. Nizamova had a brave attempt to cause an upset but her skills were not enough to beat the host nation’s boxer in the final.

Middleweight class (75 kg):

China’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Li Qian gained revenge for a previous defeat against DPR Korea’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games winner Jang Un Hui in the quarter-finals. Following that she defeated India’s Pooja Rani in the semi-final as well and boxed for the gold against Kazakhstan’s former ASBC Asian Women’s Continental Champion Dariga Shakimova who dominated her contests in Wulanchabu. Li Qian was tired after two tough contests while Shakimova was more motivated in their battle. Li could not overcome nerves in her final against the Kazakh boxer and lost her third final within a year, this one in the front of the home crowd.

Light Heavyweight class (81 kg):

China’s Yang Xiaoli defeated India’s Saweety Boora in the final of the last edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju. Following Yang’s tight triumph over Kazakhstan’s Moldir Bazarbayeva, the dream final came about again. The taller Yang tried to use all parts of the ring to beat her rival with footwork but India’s lone finalist attacked her and tried to reduce the fighting range. Sometimes the Indian boxer was successful but mostly Yang’s will determined their gold medal bout which delivered the fifth gold medal to China.

Heavyweight class (+81 kg):

Kazakhstan’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Lazzat Kungeybayeva was shocked in the semi-final where she was stopped by Uzbekistan’s Guzal Ismatova the previous day. The 19-year-old Uzbek boxer had to meet with China’s two-time National Champion Wang Shijin for the gold medal and she could not repeat her semi-final efforts. The Chinese boxer was quicker and threw stronger punches therefore Wang was able to get the host nation’s sixth gold medal on home soil.

All in all a highly successful tournament – our congratulations to the ASBC for its superb organisation. Other AIBA Confederations including (bot not only) the EUBC in Europe could learn a lot from their high quality daily reporting of the entire tournament.

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