Asian Games Preview: Kazakhstan

September 21st, 2014 / All

Kazakhstan is Asia’s leading boxing nation, and the team topped the team rankings in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, the ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman, and in the AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia.

The country has four AIBA World Champions, and three of them will also be competing in the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon.

The Tension and the Drama
Kazakhstan’s top men’s boxer, the AIBA World Champion and ASBC Asian Continental Champion Daniyar Yeleussinov was awarded the best boxer of 2013 trophy from AIBA following his excellent performances in worldwide and continental events last year.

Yeleussinov won the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games at the age of 19, and will be travelling as a titleholder to the multisport event in Korea.

Can the virtuoso boxer continue his incredible winning path in the Asian Games and defend his throne at the Welterweight class (69 kg) in Incheon?

Ones to watch in the event
Kazakhstan’s two-time Olympic Games quarter-finalist Birzhan Zhakipov achieved his career highlight in the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty last October, when he won the Light Flyweight class (49 kg).

Since then, the 30-year-old athlete has won all of his international and national contests, and has got a good chance to get an even better result than four years ago when he achieved Asian Games silver in Guangzhou, China.

Zhanibek Alimkhanuly claimed the gold medal at the Kazakh National Championships in 2012, and the youngest team member of the Central Asian country has also won the 2013 ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman and the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.

The 21-year-old Middleweight class (75 kg) suffered an unexpected loss to France’s teenager Christian M’Billi Assomo in April, but in spite of that result he is a gold medal contender in Incheon.

London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Ivan Dychko was knocked out in the final of the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, but following that disappointment he has returned with tournament titles this year, and the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) star is the best Asian boxer in the highest category now.

Marina Volnova secured a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games, and has performed impressively since then, leading her to be labelled as Kazakhstan’s best women’s hope of the Asian Games.

Kazakhstan’s team in the event
Women’s 51 kg: Zhaina Shekerbekova
Women’s 60 kg: Gulzhana Ubbiniyazova
Women’s 75 kg: Marina Volnova
Men’s 49 kg: Birzhan Zhakipov
Men’s 52 kg: Ilyas Suleimenov
Men’s 56 kg: Kairat Yeraliyev
Men’s 60 kg: Berik Abdrakhmanov
Men’s 64 kg: Aidar Amirzakov
Men’s 69 kg: Daniyar Yeleussinov
Men’s 75 kg: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly
Men’s 81 kg: Adilbek Niyazymbetov
Men’s 91 kg: Anton Pinchuk
Men’s +91 kg: Ivan Dychko

Kazakhstan’s fact in the event
Only one change has been made by head coach, Mr. Myrzagali Aitzhanov in comparison to their line-up at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships, with Aidar Amirzakov the new boxer in their men’s team, which is one of the most experienced in the whole world with an average age of 25.0 years.

Amirzakov won the 2011 ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Incheon, and he now returns to that city to prove his best in the biggest multisport event of the continent.

Kazakhstan’s history in the event
Kazakhstan competed in the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games for the very first time following their independence, and the boxing delegation of Kazakhstan achieved two gold medals in Japan: Atlanta 1996 Olympics quarter-finalist Nurzhan Smanov (67 kg) and Kanatbek Chagatayev (71 kg) won their historical first gold medals in the Asian Games.

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist Yermakhan Ibraimov (71 kg), Vyacheslav Burba (75 kg) and Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov (+91 kg) continued their winning series in Bangkok in 1998, while Nurzhan Karimzhanov (63.5 kg) and AIBA World Champion Gennadiy Golovkin (71 kg) were their gold medallists in the 2002 edition in Busan, Korea.

Four years later only Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (69 kg) claimed a gold medal in Doha.

Daniyar Yeleussinov (64 kg) and Serik Sapiyev (69 kg) secured Kazakhstan’s two gold medals in the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games.