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China take all three Women's Golds at Asian/Oceanian Olympic qualifier in Qi'anan
by Michael O'Neill
April 4, 2016

(APR 4) The 2016 AIBA Asian/Oceanian Olympic qualifier ended Saturday evening in Qian’an, China with , as we predicted, all three women’s Gold medals going to the host nation, and deservedly so albeit the 60kg title went to Jin Yunhua without ‘throwing a punch’ since her opponent Australia’s Shelley Watts was unable to take part due to injury.

AIBA reports that “Ren Cancan, the London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist and three-time AIBA Women’s World Champion, added another gold to her collection in supreme style, controlling her flyweight bout with Uzbekistan’s Yodgoroy Mirzaeva from the off. The 19-year-old Uzbek, who has been one of the surprise performers of the week, can at least make do with the consolation of a qualification spot for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The women’s middleweight final was a familiar affair. China’s Qian Li lost to Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova in the final of the 2015 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships in Wulanchabu but got her revenge in great style in the re-match in Qian’an.

China’s third gold medal of the day came in the relatively unsatisfactory form of a walkover for Junhua Yin, whose opponent, Australia’s 2014 Commonwealth Games winner Shelley Watts, was unable to take part in the lightweight final”.

Shelley Watts though has continued to improve and is sure to be a threat at the forthcoming World Championships in Astana and at the Rio Games itself. I was greatly impressed when I saw her take Gold at the Commonwealths in Glasgow 2014 and she has certainly improved considerably since then having also benefited from regular training camps in the United Kingdom and in Colorado Springs with Team USA and its coaching staff.

How does it now feel to be ‘an Olympian’,one wondered?

“I'm not quite an Olympian yet (we can't call ourselves that until we are at the Games) but I'm RIO BOUND!!!

I cannot explain my emotions! I don't understand them yet myself but I do want to take the opportunity to THANK everyone who wished me well, sent me messages and positive vibes’ (including that great supporter of Australian boxing, amateur and professional, Jamie Pittman, a member of the Team Australia coaching staff in China.

Pittman started boxing as a form of rehabilitation when he was 10 years old after a fall through a window left him with 62 stitches in his arm. He missed out on the Sydney Olympics due to a hugely controversial loss at the Oceania event in 2000 . He competed at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in the 75kg middleweight division and had a successful Pro career so has been an inspiration to Australian boxers for many years.

ASBC’s final review of the week tells us that :“The last competition day was held in the AIBA Asian & Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event in Qian'an, China where seven weight classes were in action, including the three women’s Olympic weights. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and host China were the most successful nations in the competition where eleven nations secured quota places and among them 10 are Asian.

Women's Flyweight class (51 kg):

China's three-time AIBA Women's World Champion Ren Cancan defeated her main rival India's Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte in the semi-final of the competition and continued her winning path in Qian'an. The 28-year-old Chinese boxer triumphed over Uzbekistan's teenager Yodgoroy Mirzaeva in the gold medal bout who delivered a big sensation with her Rio quota in the event. Chinese Taipei's AIBA Women's Youth World Champion Lin Yu Ting triumphed over India's five-time AIBA Women's World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte in the box-off for the third place.

Rio Quota holders: Ren Cancan (CHN); Yodgoroy Mirzaeva (UZB)

Women's Lightweight class (60 kg):

China's Incheon 2014 Asian Games winner Yin Junhua defeated Vietnam's taller Luu Thi Duyen in the semi-final of the AIBA Asian & Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event and ‘walked over’ to the gold against Australia's lone finalist Shelley Watts who could not attend in the final. The Chinese boxer proved her best in the competition and has got medal chances in the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games while the Box-off for the 3rd place was won by Vietnam's Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Luu Thi Duyen who triumphed over Thailand's ASBC Asian Women's Champion Tassamalee Thongjan. Tajikistan's London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mavzuna Chorieva failed in her quarter-final and had to travel back home without any medal.

Rio Quota holders: Yin Junhua (CHN); Shelley Watts (AUS)

Women's Middleweight class (75 kg):

Kazakhstan's defending ASBC Asian Women's Champion Dariga Shakimova controlled her quarter-final bout against Mongolia's Erdenetuya Enkhbaatar and she raised her rhythm against such a strong rival as DPR Korea's last remaining boxer Incheon 2014 Asian Games winner Jang Un Hui in the semi-finals. The lone Kazakh woman quota holder lost to China's AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Li Qian in their repeat match and claimed silver in Qian'an. Chinese Taipei's Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist 19-year-old Chen Nien Chin won the Box-off of the weight category.

RIO Quota holders: Li Qian (CHN); Dariga Shakimova (KAZ)

After eight days of competition, a total of six women and 30 men have won quota spots for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

List of the Gold medallists in the AIBA Asian & Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event (Male & Female)

Women's 51 kg: Cancan Ren, China
Women's 60 kg: Junhua Yin, China
Women's 75 kg: Qian Li, China

Men's 49 kg: Hasanboy Dusmatov, Uzbekistan
Men's 52 kg: Shakhobiddin Zoirov, Uzbekistan
Men's 56 kg: Chatchai Butdee, Thailand
Men's 60 kg: Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu, Mongolia
Men's 64 kg: Ablaikhan Zhussupov, Kazakhstan
Men’s 69 kg: Shakhram Giyasov, Uzbekistan
Men’s 75 kg: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Kazakhstan
Men’s 81 kg: Elshod Rasulov, Uzbekistan
Men's 91 kg: Rustam Tulaganov, Uzbekistan
Men's +91 kg: Ivan Dychko, Kazakhstan

ALL the week’s results from China courtesy of Strefa Poland boxing are here:

Our thanks to ASBC and to AIBA for their updates throughout the week, next up is the European Olympic qualifier in Samsun, Turkey a week from now, join us then for all the news from there.

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