England women enjoy European Amateur Boxing Championship success
- Credit: PA
The European Amateur Boxing Championships is the highest competition for men and women amateurs in Europe.
The first event for women took place in 2001, in Saint-Amand les-Eaux in France but not until the championships were held in Velje, Denmark in 2007, did England gain its first medal.
None other than Nicola Adams, boxing at bantamweight, claimed silver on that occasion, having first boxed at the 2004 event when she lost her first bout to Romania’s Mihaela Cijevschi, the eventual gold medalist.
In 2006 Adams lost to Russia’s Sofia Ochigava and the same Russian was the gold medal winner in 2007 after beating Adams 9-7 in their final.
In 2011 in Rotterdam, and now campaigning at flyweight, Adams secured gold, outpointing Frenchwoman Sarah Ourahmoune in the final 15-8.
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Adams would, of course, also defeat her in the Olympic final in Rio in 2016 and you often find that in top level international tournaments, boxers often come up against certain opponents on more than one occasion; sometimes indeed several times.
Adams also boxed in the 2014 Europeans, but lost to eventual gold medalist Stoyka Petrova, of Bulgaria, whom she had defeated in the 2011 semi-final on her way to European gold.
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Also medalling in 2011 were Lisa Whiteside, who took silver at featherweight, light-welterweight Natasha Jonas and middleweight Savannah Marshall, who took bronze.
Whiteside was very unlucky to lose by one point (15-14) to Natalia Biryuk (Ukraine), while Jonas lost in the semi-final to eventual gold medalist Gulsum Tatar of Turkey and Marshall lost in her semi-final to eventual silver medalist Nouchka Fontijn from the host nation.
In Bucharest, in 2014, we secured two more silver medals asJonas and welterweight Stacey Copeland just fell short in their gold medal encounters with Anastasia Beliakova of Russia (3-0) and Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova (3-0).
In Sofia in 2016, middleweight Natasha Gale landed a great gold medal by clearly outpointing France’s Maily Nicar (3-0) in their final, while bronze medals went to Whiteside now down at flyweight and lightweight Sandy Ryan.
Whiteside lost to Russia’s eventual gold medalist Elena Saveleva in their semi-final, while Ryan was just edged out in her semi-final by Finland’s eventual silver medalist Mira Potkonen.
Finally to Alcobendas, Spain in 2019 where we achieved two fine silver medals from light-flyweight Demie Jade Resztan and featherweight Karriss Artingstall.
Resztan lost by (5-0) in her final to Russia’s Yulia Chumgalakova, while Italy’s Irma Testa triumphed by a similar scoreline over Artingstall.
Our final medal haul in these Europeans stands at two golds, six silver and four bronze and we remain well down the overall table which is dominated by Russia, with Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria, France, Romania, Italy and Ireland in the chasing pack, some considerable way behind the Russian women.
It is not easy to succeed in the Europeans as boxers are very likely to come up against opponents who have competed certainly in the World Championships and possibly the Olympic Games too on occasions, so have to be at their very best to compete and do well in these championships.