Victorious golden gloves inspire Olympic confidence
Four gold, two silver and nine bronze medals won by Belarusian boxers at international tournament dedicated to the memory of Soviet Union Hero Victor Liventsev
By Dmitry Baranovsky
Traditional competitions at Minsk’s Sports Palace brought together over a hundred wrestlers from Australia, Ukraine, Latvia, Turkmenistan, Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Many coaches were using the event as a last rehearsal before the Olympics, which is to begin in London within a month. Accordingly, the ring was full of intrigue and drama.
The first gold medal was earned by Vadim Kirilenko (under 49kg). In his decisive match, he gained an important victory over Kazakh Zhandos Dyusekov before defeating serious Russian opponent Ivan Lokhmotkin. The match began cautiously until he began to press his rival and, by the beginning of the third round, Vadim was in complete control, winning 11:8.
The Belarusian anthem played for the second time after the final under 60kg match, in which Ivan Baranchik battled Konstantin Shokanov of Kazakhstan. The Belarusian’s technical precision, aggression and persistence paid off, despite Shokanov’s skill, leaving the score at 16:8 in Baranchik’s favour.
The under 69kg final saw a duel between Belarusians Yevgeny Romashkevich and Yevgeny Dolgolevets (brother of Mikhail Dolgolevets, who has an Olympic ticket). It was the most spectacular of the day, kicking off sparkling boxing, although Romashkevich took slightly more initiative. Dolgolevets defended while trying to crush his opponent’s offensive spirit, hoping for smashing counter-attacks. Romashkevich fought off Dolgolevets’ defensive skills and, after creating the necessary gap in the score, took a calmer approach to a deserved victory of 16:12.
Unfortunately, Sergey Kuzmin’s illness led to another ‘purely Belarusian’ final. His rival should have been the 2011 World Championship bronze medallist — a Belarus-born Kazakh — who thus took an automatic win. However, to avoid fans’ disappointment, he faced the current World Champion, Zhan Kossobutsky (over 91kg).
The official part of the programme was followed by a friendly match between Sergey Korneev and Arbi Madaev. The Belarusian confidently won, despite fierce opposition, allowing him a place at the London Olympics.