By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The 2019 Asian Youth Championships took place in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, with 10 male and 10 female gold medalists being crowned. 11 nations came away with a medal and the standings were as follows:
Kazakhstan claimed an extraordinary 15 medals with Uzbekistan just behind them with 14, India with 12, Thailand, Mongolia and China 8, Japan and South Korea with 4, Taiwan and Kyrgyzstan 3 and Iraq with a single medal
Kazakhstan had a Championships to remember with their men winning 6 golds and bantamweight Biybars Zheksen was named male boxer of the tournament. At flyweight in arguably the fight of the tournament, Makhmud Sabyrkhan prevailed over Thailand’s Sukthet Sarawut in a clash of Asian Youth champions. Make no mistake both these young men have a bright future ahead of them. Sagyndyk Togambay added his 2nd Asian Youth crown, proving far too strong for everyone in the heavyweight category whilst fellow Kazak Amanat Sabyrgali was victorious at super heavyweight.
Amateur boxing is full of sets of siblings/twins at the moment but it’s hard to rival the Tsutsumi brothers who have garnered much success over the last few years. Hayato won world Youth honours in 2015, 2 Asian Youth titles and the senior Japanese crown and fitness providing he should appear in Tokyo and is without doubt a future superstar. Ryonosuke is an Asian Youth Bronze medallist and reached the last 8 at last year’s World Youths however, Mongolia was all about Reito who was aiming to replicate his gold from the 2017 Asian Junior Championships. Replicate he did as the 17-year-old stormed to top the podium at lightweight. In the weight above, Reito Takahashi came away with an excellent Bronze and 2019 has been a terrific year for the 18-year-old after defeating Asian Junior champion Sora Tanaka twice to earn his spot in Ulaanbaatar.
The light flyweight division has proved a fruitful one for India in recent times and Selay Soy continued the tradition, picking up a silver medal and the 18-year-old will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of Amit Panghal. Ankit Narwal also won silver at lightweight and there were really good bronze medals for Satender Singh and Aman at heavyweight and super heavyweight respectively.
Uzbekistan’s 2 golds came from Sukhrobjon Kayimov and Shokhjakhon Abdullaev. Kayimov prevailed at middleweight whilst Abdulllaev became light heavyweight champion and upset touted Kazak Yerassyl Zhakpekov in the semi-finals.
Finally from the men’s bracket Nuradin Rustambek Uulu created history in becoming the first boxer from Kyrgyzstan to win an Asian Youth title as he claimed welterweight gold and hopefully this will be a real boost for boxing in the developing nation.
India continue to strengthen their case as the number one women’s boxing nation, collecting a phenomenal 5 gold and 3 bronze medals. Poonam and Vinka dominated the bantamweight and light welterweight divisions respectively, Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu was victorious at flyweight whilst Sanamacha Chanu and Sushma proved to be the best in the middleweight and light heavyweight categories. Coupled with the outstanding medal tally at the recently concluded Asian Junior Championships, the future for women’s boxing in India is incredibly bright.
The Thai professional scene maybe in somewhat of a slumber right now but the country has some genuine quality young talent in the amateur ranks and the females proved it, scalping 3 golds including welterweight Manikon Baison who also took home the prize of best women’s boxer. Panpatchara Somnuek backed up her Youth Olympic triumph by grabbing featherweight gold and she is one of the most exciting female boxers coming through and lightweight Porntip Buapa successfully defended her Asian Youth crown.
Hikaru Shinohara doesn’t turn 17 until next month but the Japanese youngster pulled off a stunning achievement to claim light flyweight gold in Mongolia. She defeated excellent opposition on the way including top Thai Nillada Meekoon and Shinahara is a top prospect for the land of the rising sun going forward.
Finally in the heavyweight division, Ko Yuan Chien made history, becoming the first boxer to win a gold at the Asian Youth Championships from Taiwan.
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