The EUBC's Continental Schoolboys Championships ended in Anapa, Russia, last week with the host nation winning the team ranking with an incredible haul of 14 gold medals with Ireland and Ukraine coming second and third respectively. Azerbaijan was the only other nation to secure a gold medal in this intriguing competition.
The first edition of these championships was held in Rome, Italy, back in 2003 with the tournament celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. There are 18 weight classes at schoolboy level, with the 38.5, 40, 41.5, 43, 44.5, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 59, 62, 65, 68, 72, 76, and +76kg categories. Boxers born in 1998 and 1999 were eligible to compete this year.
A total of 186 talented boxers from 21 nations competed in this edition of the EUBC Continental Schoolboys Championships. The host nation and Ukraine competed with full 18-member squads whilst Ireland sent 17 hopefuls to Russia.
The first gold medal went to Russia's 13-year-old National Schoolboys Champion Aleksey Kiselev who defeated Bulgaria's only finalist in the championships Angel Yordanov in the lightest of weight categories. The Volgograd region's best hope, Albert Rodionov, continued Russia's winning ways in the final of the 40kg weight class after the 14-year-old boxer came out on top in a great battle with Turkey's Volkan Altindas. Russia's 13-year-old defending National Schoolboys Champion Nikita Piskunov claimed the gold medal at the 41.5kg weight, the talented boxer who lives in Kamensk-Uralsk triumphed over Armenia's Arman Antonyan 13:8 in the final.
Umid Rustamov of Azerbaijan claimed the first gold for a country other than Russia when he triumphed at 44.5kg after defeating Georgia's David Petrosyan 7:3. 14-year-old Cork-based Kieran Oliver McCarthy has gone up three weight categories since last year's edition and took home Ireland's first gold medal in Anapa after victory in the final of the 46kg weight class where he was too strong for Russia's Issa Yevloyev. Slovakia's Filip Meszaros claimed a valuable bronze medal in that draw.
James McGivern, who competed at the last edition of these Championships, won a further gold medal for Ireland after dominating in the 48kg weight division, defeating Russian boxer Magomedrasul Barkayev in the final to take the title. Aleksandr Kvitkovskiy then re-established Russia's dominance of this tournament by overcoming the tough challenge of Ireland's John Sweeney in the 50kg final. The name of Nevin is now synonymous with glory in Ireland and there are now high hopes that Michael Nevin can emulate John Joe's achievements after the fledgling talent secured his nation's third gold. The Irish 52kg weight class boxer was too strong for Parviz Guliyev of Azerbaijan in the final contest.
New hope Viktor Saunin from Russia eliminated England's gold medal favourite Freddie Young in the semi-finals and followed up that success with a win over Germany's Artur Mamberger to claim gold at 56kg. Russia's Kirill Kitayev was in sublime form and did not give very away against Ukraine's Dmitriy Podolyan in the final of the 62kg weight category, with the referee having to step in to stop the contest before the distance.
Russia's National Schoolboys Champion Ruslan Beglaryan from Stariy Oskol overwhelmed Armenia's Alyosha Stamboltsyan in the 72kg final with the remaining gold medal going to the host nation's Yaroslav Antipov who triumphed over Ukraine's Vyacheslav Gavrilyuk 18:10.
It is really good to see so many new talents coming through the ranks, giving us a taster for the big one next month, the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships Yerevan 2012 from 25 November to 8 December.
Copyright © 2012 AIBA http://www.aiba.org