May 2021

Anjum Moudgil put aside the disappointment of her home World Cup, to breach the final qualification mark in the Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions (3P) event, while shooting in its Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section at the on-going European Shooting Championship in Osijek, Croatia, on Sunday. The Chandigarh girl shot a score of 1173, a huge improvement from the 1162 she shot in New Delhi, earlier in March this year. 

The eighth and final qualification spot in the Regular event was grabbed by Switzerland’s Franziska Stark, who shot the same score, but had one less inner-10 score than Anjum’s.

Tejaswini Sawant, the second Indian in the fray, also had a decent outing, finishing with a score of 1172. While Anjum finished third in the 16-strong MQS section, Tejaswini was a spot below at fourth. Ukraine’s Lessia Leskiv topped the MQS section with a round of 1177, while Iran’s Najmeh Khedmati was second with 1174.

Germany’s Jolyn Beer topped the Regulars field with an European Championship record equaling 1185. Like it was for the Men on Saturday, the Regulars shot in the morning while the MQS field shot in the second half of the day.

The exciting women’s finals were held in the sixth competition day at the ASBC Asian Men’s & Women’s Elite Boxing Championships in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Kazakhstan dominated the women’s finals, their boxers achieved eight gold medals out of the ten. Uzbekistan and India also achieved one title in Dubai, where Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay defeated the legend of the world, Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte. 

Altogether 150 boxers including 47 ladies are competing for the medals and money prizes at the ASBC Asian Men’s & Women’s Elite Boxing Championships. The money prizes of the competition for the gold, silver and bronze medallists were presented by AIBA Secretary General Mr. Istvan Kovacs of Hungary in Dubai. 

AIBA allocates 400’000 USD prize money for Asian Boxing Championships. For the boxers who take first place, both men and women, the award is 10’000 USD. For the second, the prize money is 5’000 USD and for both bronze medalists it’s 2’500 USD each.

The following 17 nations are attending in the ASBC Asian Men’s & Women’s Elite Boxing Championships in Dubai: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Laos, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. 

Kazakhstan’s Alua Balkybekova has done a revenge in the final

Uzbekistan’s Gulasal Sultonalieva was one of the heroes of the fourth competition day when she bowed out the reigning champion, Philippines’ Josie Gabuco in the semi-finals of the light flyweight (48kg). The 22-year-old Uzbek had nice memories about her final opponent, Kazakhstan’s Alua Balkybekova following Sultonalieva defeated her neighbouring rival at the Ulan-Ude 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The younger Uzbek jumped in into the best fighting range and surprised Balkybekova with her quick attacks during the opening exchanges. The Kazakh boxer had more than 130 bouts during her career and tried to adopt the level of the contest using her longer reach in the first round. Balkybekova used the best fighting distance in their excellent final and she has done a revenge after their first meeting in Ulan-Ude. 

Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay stopped the Indian legend

India’s national boxing icon Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte arrived to Dubai to take her 6th Asian title. The six-time AIBA Women’s World Champion won almost all of her titles at the light flyweight (48kg) therefore she was going to win the gold medal of the flyweight (51kg) in Dubai. Mary Kom caught Kazakhstan’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Nazym Kyzaibay with a tough punch during the opening of their final. The Indian star was smarter than in the semi-finals and she concentrated to her combinations better in the first round. Kyzaibay tried to follow her rhythm and came back to the contest with excellent jabs following she received the right advices in the first break. The Kazakh produced her best round in the third, when she controlled the fighting range and the exchanges therefore Kyzaibay stopped the Indian legend in Dubai. 

Uzbekistan’s second gold medal in the history of the championships was achieved by Sitora Turdibekova

Uzbekistan’s first and lone gold medal in the history of the ASBC Asian Women’s Boxing Championships was achieved by Guzal Ismatova in 2017 but the young boxer died earlier this year at the age of 25. Sitora Turdibekova claimed bronze medal in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce this year and the 19-year-old talent gave in everything in the first round to surprise her Kazakh opponent, Vladislava Kukhta. The Uzbek talent moved more on feet than Kukhta in the first and second rounds during their impressive final at the featherweight (57kg). Turdibekova had strong motivation in the final and her successful counter-attacks were enough to beat the new Kazakh National Champion. Turdibekova is the second boxer from Uzbekistan after Guzal Ismatova, who could win an Asian woman title. 

“I am very happy to win my first Asian Women’s Elite Boxing Championships. It was such a hard contest for me and this is the first gold medal for our team in the whole championships which made this success more unique. I dedicate this gold medal to my family and of course to the lovely Uzbek fans,” said Uzbekistan’s 19-year-old Sitora Turdibekova after her final contest. 

Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volosenko knocked out her Indonesian rival

Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volosenko won several international tournaments in the recent six years but she was unlucky with the major championships until today. The 29-year-old Kazakh controlled all of her contests at the women’s lightweight (60kg) in the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships. Volosenko had amazing fighting spirit in the final against Indonesia’s Asian Games bronze medallist Huswatun Hasanah and she decided their contest very quickly. The experienced Kazakh landed lethal punches and the Croatian referee confirmed her KO triumph in the first round. 

“I prepared a lot to achieve the gold medal in the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships. The event is exciting and our team arrived in good shape to the event. We worked hard this year, that is the reason of our successes in Dubai. I am ready to compete in the next AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships to reach my next goal,” claimed Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volosenko. 

Valentina Khalzova returned with a gold medal

Kazakhstan’s Valentina Khalzova claimed gold medal at the Astana 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and silver at the Ho Chi Minh City 2017 ASBC Asian Women’s Elite Boxing Championships. The 25-year-old Kazakh returned to the national team in 2020 after a break and proved strong performance in the preparation tournaments this year. Khalzova overcame Uzbekistan’s promising Navbakhor Khamidova in the first round and she controlled also the second. Khamidova tried to surprise her Kazakh opponent in the third round with quicker jabs but Khalzova had the skills to win the welterweight (69kg).

India’s Pooja Rani claimed her second Asian title

India’s Pooja Rani claimed gold medal at the light heavyweight (81kg) in the Bangkok 2019 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships and after that she moved down to the middleweight (75kg). Following Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte and Lalbuatsaihi lost their finals, India’s first gold medal in the championship was bagged by Pooja Rani. She was eight years older than her final opponent, Uzbekistan’s Mavluda Mavlonova and her experience decided the title bout of the middleweight (75kg). 

“It is a fantastic feeling taking the Asian title at the second time after Bangkok, that is what I have been prepared for during last recent months. I never met with my Uzbek opponent previously but she defeated Kazakhstan’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Marina Volnova therefore I expected a tough battle. I believe that I was better today and deserved to win the gold medal,” said India’s first gold medallist in Dubai, Pooja Rani quickly after her final. 

List of the winners of the women’s finals in Dubai

48kg: Alua Balkybekova, Kazakhstan

51kg: Nazym Kyzaibay, Kazakhstan

54kg: Dina Zholaman, Kazakhstan

57kg: Sitora Turdibekova, Uzbekistan

60kg: Rimma Volosenko, Kazakhstan

64kg: Milana Safronova, Kazakhstan

69kg: Valentina Khalzova, Kazakhstan

75kg: Pooja Rani, India 

81kg: Fariza Sholtay, Kazakhstan 

+81kg: Lazzat Kungeibayeva, Kazakhstan

The next competition day at the 2021 ASBC Asian Elite Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships

The ten men’s finals will be held in the last competition day of the ASBC Asian Elite Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships in Dubai on Monday. The male finals will be starting in the Grand Ballroom of the Le Meridien Hotel on 31st of May at 6pm local time. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Iran have the chance to achieve male titles in Dubai.

With inputs from AIBA

With the county coming to a standstill due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, each one– right now– is trying his/her best to help the poor and needy in India. Powerlifter Gaurav Sharma is also doing his bit as the World Champion has been cooking and distributing food and water to at least 1,000 people daily who have found the going tough ever since the government imposed the lockdown in the Capital.

Maintaining the strict health guidelines, Gaurav has been feeding the needy. “The situation right now is very disturbing. Many people have suffered because of lockdown. I know the lockdown is needed but at the same time it affected many lives on the street.

“I have been doing whatever I can to help poor people on the street. It is disheartening to see small kids crying for food. I have even asked others to help them,” said Gaurav.

“I also distribute face masks, shields and gloves to them.” Gaurav further said he made food for people by himself in his temple at Chandni Chowk where he is a priest. “I have been making it for at least 1,000 people with the help of some friends and family members. It feels really great. I just hope this second wave doesn’t affect more families and everything gets settled soon.”

Last year Gaurav also distributed food among the needy.

Gaurav clinched two gold medals at the 2016 World Powerlifting Championships in England. In 2007, he won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand.

Initially starting out as a weightlifter, Gaurav later switched to powerlifting under the guidance of Dronacharya awardee coach Bhupender Dhawan. But now he has switched to shooting.

Defending champion Amit Panghal punched his way into the men’s 52kg final at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships after outpunching Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the last-4 clash in Dubai on Friday.
During an intense battle between World Championships silver medallist Panghal and bronze medallist Bibossinov, the Indian made a cautious start and tried to keep a distance from the opponent.

He looked more aggressive later in the second round and hit some clean punches to put pressure on Bibossinov.
Panghal carried on the momentum throughout the match and stamped his authority over Kazakh boxer to secure a commanding 5-0 win. Aiming to win second successive gold, the Indian boxer will take on Rio Olympic champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.

India is now assured of at least five silver medals with four women already making their way into the finals earlier on Thursday at the prestigious event which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation. With 15 medals confirmed, Indian contingent also achieved their highest medal haul, surpassing the previous best of 13 (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.

On Thursday six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) alongside three more Indian women pugilists—Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg)—progressed into the finals. The defending champion Pooja received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Munkhbat. While in the other last-4 bouts played late on Friday night, Lalbuatsaihi was declared winner after her opponents from Kuwait Noura Almutairi abandoned the bout in the second round following the Indian’s relentless attack. Anupama (+81+kg) also emerged victorious against Mokhira Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, it was heartbreak in the 54kg as the two-time youth world champion Sakshi Chaudhary, who was initially adjudged as winner, lost her place in the final and had to settle with bronze medal after the opponent Dina Zholaman appealed to review the last round of bout. The jury upheld the claim and altered the result in favour of Kazakh boxer. Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Jaismine (57kg) Monika (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Saweety (81kg) are the other women boxers who secured bronze medals after enduring defeats in their respective last-4 clashes.

The International Boxing Association, AIBA has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for the on-going Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively. Final matches of women’s and men’s categories will take place on Sunday and Monday respectively. The event has witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.

World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal lived up to his reputation as he defeated Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarter-finals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Wednesday.
Both the boxers started the contest in a contrasting manner.

While Indian made a cautious start, Mongolian was aggressive from the word go. However, despite making defensive start, Panghal quickly shifted gears as both the boxers saw exchanging some heavy blows in fast paced fierce battle. With some timely and precise punches, the top seeded Panghal edged past the opponent. His tactical brilliance put himself ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in a closely-fought game.  

With this victory, the defending champion Panghal progressed into semi-finals and confirmed 13th medal for the country at the ongoing championships and also his third successive Asian Championships medal after gold in 2019 and bronze in 2017. In the last-4 clash, Panghal is likely to meet Kazak boxer Saken Bibossinov, whom he beat in the 2019 World Championships semi-finals.

Later on the third day of the Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, four more Indian pugilists, including Tokyo Olympic qualified Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg), will fight in the quarter-final rounds.

Narender (+91) and Varinder Singh (60kg) are the other two boxers who will also be keen to make winning starts in tournament and confirm medals for the country.

Having secured medal in each category, 10 Indian women boxers including Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jaismine (57kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) will play their respective semi-finals on Thursday.  The on-going Championships has been witnessing the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has paid in full its outstanding $10 million USD debt to Azerbaijani company Benkons LLC, which was the main loan for the organization and which had been at the heart of a period of financial instability. The loan had been part of an unsuccessful venture, the World Series of Boxing.

The settlement of the loan marks the fulfillment of an election promise by AIBA President Umar Kremlev to return the International Federation to financial stability. It is accompanied by a $7 million round of development funding which will see grants issued to National Federations (NFs) and regional Confederations.

“Financial issues have hung over the leadership of the sport I love for too many years. They have even threatened our Olympic future” said President Kremlev. “Closing the debt is a core achievement for our financial health and future Olympic prospects. I am very happy that we have been able to resolve this and ensure stability for AIBA. Boxing is a sport with a rich history, a strong present and an ambitious future. It deserves effective leadership.”

During the tenure of former President Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA became guarantor to the loan of $10 million USD provided by Benkons. The resulting debt was identified by the IOC as a key reason for suspending payments to AIBA in 2017 and later the complete suspension of AIBA. AIBA hopes its settlement and the resulting stability will now prove to be a significant step towards resolving the IOC’s concerns.

Meanwhile, the AIBA Financial Support Programme has been launched to provide development and equipment resources for the work of its NFs and Confederations. AIBA will distribute $2 million USD for NFs annually. Additionally, boxing equipment will be provided to countries for $2.5 million USD total. Each of the five AIBA Confederations will receive £500,000 USD per year. The funds to make these developments possible have a clear source and do not themselves involve any new indebtedness. As part of its work to ensure financial stability, AIBA recently secured significant sponsorship from Gazprom.

AIBA is also using its new-found financial stability as a platform for achieving progress in governance reform and sporting integrity. An independent investigation has been commissioned into allegations of past judging corruption, notably around the Rio 2016 Olympic Games boxing tournament. In addition, new systems and processes are being introduced to combat corrupt judging, match-fixing and other forms of manipulation.

India’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics bound 10M Pistol and Rifle Mixed Team pairs, put up stellar shows while participating in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section of the events, at the on-going European Shooting Championship in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday. 

The day began with the world number one and two pairing of Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar shooting a combined score of 630.6 in the first qualifying round. They finished second overall among 51 pairs, five of which were shooting in the MQS section. The pair would have sailed through comfortably to the next stage where only the top eight pairs make it. The Norwegian pair of Jaeanette Duestad and Henrik Larsen topped the stage with a European record score of 632.0.

Then in the 10M Air Pistol Mixed Team competitions, India’s top team comprising of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary also came overall second among 43 pairs, shooting a combined score of 580 out of a possible 600. 

They finished behind the table-topping Russian pair of Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov. The Russians competing in the regular section shot 583.

While both Elavenil and Divyansh were neck and neck in their 30-shot round returning with scores of 315.8 to 314.8 respectively, Saurabh Chaudhary was way ahead of almost the entire field yet again, shooting a stunning 294 out of 300. Manu shot 286 while only the Russian world number three Chernousov was above Saurabh with a 295.

The second Indian pair in the Mixed Team Rifle event comprising of Anjum Moudgil and Deepak Kumar, shot a total of 622.2 to finish 38thoverall and third among five in the MQS section.

Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Abhishek Verma, the second Indian team in the Mixed Team Pistol competitions, also had a decent outing, finishing ninth overall with a score of 575. The Turkish pair above them was only a point ahead at 576.  

The 13-member Pistol and Rifle Olympic squads’ training cum competition trip continues at the Osijek European Championship and Thursday will see members in action in the MQS section of the Prone events.