By Dmitry Komashko
The national teams of Russia and Kazakhstan, Congo and Sweden, Ukraine and Australia sent their top boxers to Minsk for the tournament, which was dedicated to the memory of Soviet Union Hero Victor Liventsev. The important round sends boxers through to the World Championship (to be hosted by Baku in Azerbaijan) where the winners will go through to the 2012 Olympics in London. Obviously, the struggle unleashed in the Minsk ring was dynamic.
Out of ten final fights, two were purely ‘Belarusian’. In the lightest weight category (under 49kg) gold went to Vadim Kirilenko, who defeated Belarusian Tsiren Badmaev (left with silver). In the under 75kg category, Nikolay Veslov of Belarus faced country mate Vitaly Kuzmirukov to win. Ivan Figurenko, Vazgen Safaryants, Mikhail Dolgolevets and Sergey Korneev also claimed gold medals, while bronze went to Dmitry Zhukov and Yaroslav Shish.
“I would prefer not to describe the success of the event from the point of view of how many medals were won,” stresses the head coach of the Belarusian national boxing team, Valery Kornilov. “Over the past six months, we’ve been working hard to get in the necessary physical shape. This was a kind of test for us, allowing us to pit ourselves against our formidable world rivals. Our guys proved that they can pose a threat to leading boxers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Australia, which makes me extremely happy. This is clearly the direction we need to move in.”
According to the Chairman of the Belarusian Boxing Federation, representatives of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) have highly praised the organisation of the event in Minsk. Next year, the tournament should reach an even higher level.