The new Strandja Memorial Tournament is the 72nd edition which made the event one of the most traditional competitions in the whole world. Following the general weigh-in, it is confirmed that 220 female and male boxers from 30 nations are attending in the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, host Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Morocco, Moldova, Mali, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan are the participating nations in Sofia. Among the Asian countries, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan decided to send strong teams to the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
India’s Jyoti Gulia was gold medallist at the Guwahati 2017 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and she attended at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. The 20-year-old Indian boxer met with Ukraine’s Rio Olympian veteran Tetiana Kob in the first preliminary round of the flyweight (51kg). The Indian girl moved forward in their contest and her brave attempts delivered for Jyoti a place in the next stage of boxing.
Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay claimed gold medals at the light flyweight (48kg) in the 2014 and 2016 editions of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. She moved up to the flyweight (51kg) four years ago but she was not able to repeat that world class performance in that Olympic category. Kyzaibay proved strong technical skills in her debuting contest against Morocco’s Rabab Cheddar and controlled the bout in Sofia.
Uzbekistan’s Rio 2016 Olympian Yodgoroy Mirzaeva was near to qualify for her second Games at the Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event in Amman but she failed her last step. She had a strong rival as first at the women’s featherweight (57kg) but she managed to win that contest against Brazil’s Jucielen Romeu in Sofia. Her teammate 20-year-old Navbakhor Khamidova eliminated India’s young Lalita in the women’s welterweight (69kg) causing a small surprise on Day1.
Uzbekistan’s new sensation, Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament winner Asadkhudja Muydinkhudjayev arrived to the venue of the Strandja Memorial Tournament to increase his international experiences against tough rivals. The 20-year-old Uzbek lightweight (60kg) talent met with Ireland’s George Bates who has got several years of experiences in the international tournaments. The younger Uzbek was a hard target and he proved his amazing technical skills once again in Sofia, beating the Irish boxer unanimously.
Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Champion Samatali Toltayev could be the country’s new sensation in the next Olympic cycle at the lightweight (63kg) and the 21-year-old boxer has selected to attend in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Toltayev has got already six years of experiences in the international events and that paid off against Turkey’s Mizan Aykol in the first session of the tournament.
Uzbekistan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games winner and AIBA World Champion Shakhobiddin Zoirov is already a Tokyo Olympian who returned to the international events after a break. The Uzbek star was a bit nervous in the first round but he found the best rhythm in the second against Ukraine’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Dmytro Zamotayev. The Uzbek flyweight (52kg) boxer worked hard in the third round and eliminated the well-experienced Ukrainian in Sofia.