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Ochigava steals European Women's show on European Boxing Championships

2009-09-21 10:39:00 AIBA

Russia's Sofia Ochigava with the smile of a three-times European

20.09.2009 - Sofia Ochigava, the double world champion from Russia, made it a hat-trick of European titles and was voted Best Boxer of the tournament on finals day at the 7th European Women's Boxing Championships in Nikolaev in southern Ukraine today.

The 22-year-old Ochigava, who won at 54kg two years ago in Denmark and 52kg two years earlier in Norway, this time took the 57kg title with a comprehensive 14-0 win over Julia Tsyplakova of Ukraine. Ochigava was a world champion in 2005 and again in 2006 but had to settle for bronze last year in Ningbo City.

Ochigava was captaining a Russian team which walked away from the final day of the championships with four gold medals and one silver, only Sweden's Jenny Hardingz managing to deny them a clean sweep by the narrowest of margins after drawing 2-2 with Elena Savelyeva in the light-flyweight 48kg final.

Reigning world champions Katie Taylor of Ireland (60kg), Karolina Michalczuk of Poland (54kg) and Gulsum Tatar of Turkey (64kg) were all comfortable winners today, as was Norway's Lotte Lien, the surprise package of the tournament who ran through the 69kg field and beat Poland's Katarzyna Furmaniak in the final to become European champion.

The Russian dominance aside, the rest of the gold medals were evenly spread with no fewer than eight countries sharing the 11 titles including home favourite Tatyana Kob who beat Sweden's Shipra Nilsson in the 52kg final to send the Ukrainian fans home happy.

The number of countries winning gold in Nikolaev is a reflection of how fast women's boxing is developing in Europe, with the incentive of a place in the 2012 Olympic Games now spurring on many of the boxers. Their next major event on the road to London will be the 6th AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados in September 2010.

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