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Boxing: Tatiana Zrachevskaya retains Golden Girl crown in Sweden
by Michael O'Neill
February 7, 2017

(FEB 7)  The 2017 Golden Girl of Boras tournament was its most successful to date, with some 254 boxers from round the globe taking part.

For Irish boxers, especially those from St Brigid’s Kildare Town and the Leinster Development and Dublin squads there were some great success stories of which more later.

Golden Girl Boråshallen, Sweden/Facebook/Boxing England

The main event, the Golden Girl trophy was for the first time voted for by boxing fans worldwide as well as those present at the Arena in Sweden.

Sara Haghighat-joo with  Canadian Coach Jill Perry

Let us begin with a list of the various awards from Sunday’s closing ceremony, as received from CEO Ray Husac.

Mary-Kate Nevin, Mullingar Elite club

St Brigid’s Kildare Town/Facebook

Leinster Development Squad/Facebook

Fight of the Tournament : Karina Tazabekova, Russia vs Eftychia Kathopouli, Glennrothes ABC, Scotland

Best Slugger: Deandra Allen – England
Best Technical boxer: Sara Haghighat- Joo – Canada
Best Showmanship: Elina Gustavsson – Finland
The Muhammad Ali award: Agnes Alexiusson – Sweden
Best Team: Tyne Tees Wear Golden Girls - England
Best Junior: Jessica Trievelova – SLK
Best Youth: Gloria Dálmeida – France
Best Elite: Lise Sandebjaer – Sweden
Best Judge: Per Sönnerby – Sweden
Best Referee: Jörgen Hammer – Denmark

The 2017 ‘GOLDEN GIRL’ : TATIANA ZRACHEVSKAYA from Russia told us :

“ I am very happy to have won again. It means, I am on the right track”!

Speaking from Boras after the show was over, CEO, Ray Husac told WBAN.

“I am delighted that we have had such a great Championship and that there were so many good boxers and bouts during the weekend. It seems that the quality in the technical area has developed a lot from the first Golden Girl in 2009 until today.

It´s amazing and all the girls were amazing. I would like to thank every single person who attended Golden Girl Championship 2017,and say to them ‘ You made this possible, you all did this, it’s a great memory I will always will have with me. I look forward meeting you all next year again”.

St Brigid’s Club from Kildare Town is one of Ireland’s leading clubs and they had a great tournament too taking 4 gold and 4 silver back home to Kildare, not to forget the 8 bronze medals. Some record!

Their management team had this to say on how much they valued this experience on the final day of the event.

“What a day of boxing in the finals of the Golden Girls championship in Sweden."

We started with Mckenzies Kenny, she had 2 very hard days of boxing but today wasn't to be her day losing out on a split decision but taking home silver..

Next up was Lauren Dempsey putting in a great performance and winning all 3 rounds to take home a gold medal..

Then came Lauren Ryan up against a very strong opponent and just wasn't to be her day but takes home silver too..

Last in the ring was Katelynn Phelan with an outstanding performance which was said to be fight of the tournament going ‘toe to toe’ with her opponent but losing out on a split decision and taking home silver also..

What a great experience for these girls..

We take home 4 gold medals , 4 silver medals and 8 bronze medals.. a very proud moment for all these girls, and for our club ”

Also from Ireland the Leinster Development girls squad won many plaudits as their President Bernie Harold told WBAN later:

“This was the first International outing for our Leinster Girls Development Squad. All the girls performed brilliantly and are a credit to Leinster, their clubs and especially their families. We came away with two Gold Medals and Two Silver.

This is an outstanding result from this very prestigious competition. Well done to Linda Morgan and Paul O'Toole who led the team. It is amazing the work that has been done by Linda and her team over the past six months - all the coaches who worked with the girls, drove the girls to collective training and the parents who supported their daughters to be part of the Squad. Well done also to the Dublin and St Brigid's, Kildare teams who also performed really well. You should all be very proud of yourselves. The future is bright for Leinster Girls Boxing!”

Another Golden performance came from Mullingar Elie and Ireland’s Mary-Kate Nevin who improves with every contest. She defeated Canada’s Emilia Dermott on a split decision (3:2) after an excellent battle for top honours. Mary-Kate is an exciting prospect for the future given appropriate encouragement by the IABA and its coaches. She previously excelled at the Stralsund Queen Cup event in Germany.

It was not just the Irish who were rejoicing as the teams from countries like Russia and Kazakhstan also enjoyed multi success stories. Canada had travelled far and they too had some good wins to report ,as indeed did several boxers from the United Kingdom. Tyne Tees Wear took the team award and rightly so.

Top Canadian coach Stevie Bailey who was not able to attend in person, was fulsome in his praise for the tournament organisers, having spoken at length with his young boxer Sara Haghighat- Joo who took the Best Technical award crown as well as the title in her weight division, and the team’s respected Head Coach Jill Perry.

Sara and the rest of the Canadian team including Head Coach Jill Perry had a very successful tournament and will benefit greatly from the experience, as will indeed all who took part from countries as far apart as Scandinavia, Kazakhstan, Russia , Poland, Ireland and a strong United Kingdom contingent who took many titles back home.

Said new champion Sara:

“2 unanimous wins in Sweden for my first international competition! An amazing experience and couldn't thank Jill Perry enough for her phenomenal coaching. Can't wait to come back home and keep working towards Canadian nationals in April”.

Hopefully European boxing tournaments will see many of these fighters later this year in events like the Strandja tournament in Bulgaria and of course at the Haringey Box Cup in UK and the Esker tournament in Ireland.

Link to all the results in every final bout in Boras: Link

and here from our friends at Strefa Poland boxing, results from every bout in Boras. Link

Now let us hope that various associations will be sending many of these young women as well as the Senior Elite squad, to gain greater experience later this year in major International competitions. It is no more than their efforts deserve.

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