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‘Phenomenal’ nine medals for England at European Schools championships

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The future is bright for England boxing in this week's Amateur Scene

ENGLAND boxing teams at youth levels continue to excel. At the European Schoolboy and Schoolgirl championships, which ran from August 3-11 in Tbilisi, Georgia, England topped the medal table with nine gold medals in all, as well as two silver and three bronze medals.

On Saturday Sophie Harker, Alice Pumphrey, Amber Moss-Birch and Denaeo George all won gold for England.

Harker, at 36kgs, beat Ukraine’s Anastasiia Burlak on a split points decision to take the top spot in their division. Golden Ring’s Moss-Birch outscored Georgia’s Tatia Bukia on a split decision in their 70kgs final. Denaeo George [pictured], City of Leicester, also defeated a host nation boxer, beating Luka Tsuleiskiri in the 38.5kgs final on a split decision as well.

Pumphrey, from Blackpool’s Sharpstyle club, sealed a win for the 48kgs gold medal with a unanimous decision over Ukrainian rival Valeriia Telpis.

On Sunday Scunthorpe’s Jessica Keeton came on strong in the third round to stop Ukraine’s Oleksandra Manko to win 46kgs gold. At 50kgs Burton Park’s Ellis Panter also met a Ukrainian opponent in the final, beating Hlib Hryhorian on a split decision.

At 64kgs Paris Smith met Ava Rose Lyndon of Ireland in their final. The English boxer won by unanimous decision.

Thomas Varey, another boxer from the Sharpstyle, had to face a host nation boxer in his 40kgs final but he overcame Murad Tagievi on a split decision.

To win 59kgs gold Anthony Connors outpointed Italy’s David Fiore on a split decision.

Abby Briggs and Ethan Moore was England’s silver medallists. Hunslet’s Briggs lost a unanimous decision to Italy’s Valentina Marra in the 60kgs final, while Moore was beaten unanimously by Armenian 68kgs Suren Arakelyan.

England’s three bronze medallists were Sam Hardy, Joe Cooper and RJ Draper.

“They showed themselves to be an absolutely fantastic team who all bought into the idea of being part of Team England and having pride in representing their country,” coach Mick Driscoll said. “The progress they have made since the Three Nations tournament in May has been massive and what they have achieved in a foreign country, when some of them have never flown before, let alone been away from their mums and dads, is phenomenal.

“The key to their success was the way that everyone came together in four weeks of preparations to create that team ethos and make it so that the boxers were adaptable and thinking independently when they went into the ring.

“To us as a coaching team the most important thing was not the winning but the going out and giving it everything, 1,000 per cent, which every boxer did, and the results have looked after themselves.”

Ireland also had a sizeable medal haul, with two champions, six silver medallist and 10 bronzes. Adam Olaniyan and Caoimhe Kinsella won their gold medals. Dublin’s Olaniyan beat Georgia’s Davit Stepulenko in his country’s capital, taking a unanimous decision in the 90kgs final. Wexford’s Kinsella forced a second round stoppage to win her gold medal when she halted Turkish 38kgs Gulcan Turgul.

As well as Ava Rose Lyndon, Ireland’s losing finalists were Sean Tyndall at 41.5kgs, Katie O’Keeffe at 42kgs, Esther Lambe at 44kgs, Georgia McGovern at 51kgs and Micheal McCarthy at 64kgs.

The Irish bronze medallists were Carlagh Mullarney (36kgs), Shakira McCrudden (40kgs), Roy Colgan (40kgs), Carleigh Irving (46kgs), Nora Jackman (48kgs), Laurence Connors (56kgs), Alicia King (57kgs), Gabrielle Mongan (60kgs), Thomas Ward (68kgs) and Caolan Devlin (76kgs).

“Our young boxers did their country proud and it is a fantastic achievement by any standard to win 18 medals. Our team managers and coaches deserve enormous credit,” IABA president Dom O’Rourke said. “The quality of competition is very high here but our squad put in top-class performances every day.”

Scotland also had a gold medallist in Alan Perrie and a silver medallist in Patrick Paton.

Perrie won the 54kgs weight class, beating Armenia’s Narek Nersisyan in the final. Paton was forced to settle for the silver medal when Azerbaijan’s Mahammadali Gasimzada defeated him in their 43kgs final.

Perrie, Scotland’s first ever gold medallist at the European Schoolboy championships, said, “The competition was hard. I boxed four good boys from Poland, Georgia, England and Armenia but I managed to push through and get the gold.

“It’s not really sunk in, it will probably take a couple of days.
I’ve had loads of support from home, from my team mates and family members.”

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