THE young England team continued its remarkable run of success at the European Youth championships at the Sofia Sports Hall in Bulgaria. On the finals day (September 10) Gemma Richardson, Caroline Dubois and Emily Asquith all won gold medals.
Pinewood’s Adam Azim reached the 60kgs final but was held to a silver medal by Russia’ Usman Magamadov, although the bout was far closer than the unanimous decision for the Russian might suggest. Azim had been excellent in his semi-final when he unanimously outscored Ukraine’s Igor Kovtun.
Dubois won the female 60kgs final, maintaining her incredible 40-bout winning streak. She took a close split decision over Russia’s Nune Asatrian. To win the semi-final Dubois had boxed with her accustomed class, harrying Ukraine’s Amina Abramova with her southpaw left to take a clear unanimous decision.
In the light-welterweight final Richardson had contend with the height and reach advantages of Germany’s Stefanie Von Berge, managing to negate them and win a split decision.
She’d booked her place in the final beating Eveliina Taimi of Finland, a high work rate and accurate punching taking a unanimous decision victory in the semi-final.
At 81kgs Emily Asquith used her size and range to outpoint Turkey’s Elanur Sagit, winning a unanimous decision. In the semi-final Asquith delivered her best performance yet to defeat Saltanat Medenova taking a split decision as she matched then overcame the Russian.
As well as three gold medals and one silver, English boxers also won three bronze medals.
Super-heavyweight William Howe reached the semi-finals, losing to Russia’s Aleksei Dronov on a competitive but unanimous decision.
Adnan Mohammed also succumbed to Russian opposition, a unanimous verdict going against him after his battle with Vsevolod Shumkov in the 56kgs semi-final.
At 51kgs Simran Kaur was edged out on a split decision against Ukraine’s Viktoriia Fabuliak and so forced to settle for bronze.
The England team’s medal haul in Bulgaria adds to the five they won at the European Junior Championships and 14 at the European Schools Championships, taking their tally in the major international events during 2019 to 26.
“We’ve had a really good championships,” said team manager Martin Webb. “Our boxers and coaches can be really proud of their achievements in Sofia over the last seven days of intense competition.
“England Boxing has demonstrated it has quality strength in depth, and a number of the team will now join the elite ranks in 2020.”
Among those taking the step up the senior ranks will be Caroline Dubois. Expect to see her joining the GB squad soon. It will be fascinating to see her progression in the build up to the next Olympic Games.
Ireland secured a gold medal at these European Youth championships. Niamh Fay beat Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic on a split decision in their 54kgs final. Fay applied relentless aggression in the opening two rounds to rock Cacic with hooks. The Croatian came back in the last round but Fay had done enough to secure the verdict. She had unanimously outscored Romania’s Bianca Cabzaru at the semi-final stage.
The Irish team also secured three bronze medals. Daina Moorehouse reached the 48kgs semi-final, where Italy’s Erika Priscianaro outpointed her to take the split decision. Hungary’s Scilla Ambrus beat Leah Gallen on a unanimous decision in their welterweight semi-final. At middleweight Lithuania’s Gabriele Diekontaite edged out Lisa O’Rourke to win their semi-final on a split decision.