The first international event of 2015, the Golden Girl Championships finished in the city of Boras in Sweden, where Finland’s Mira Potkonen was awarded the best boxer trophy following her excellent performance.
Additionally, the Russian national squad claimed three gold medals in the event, while strong veterans such as Sweden’s Anna Laurell and Denmark’s Yvonne Baek Rasmussen both reached the top of the podium.
Athlete of the tournament
Finland’s Mira Potkonen won more than 80% of her international contests in 2014 and she was also a competitive rival for Ireland’s national icon Katie Taylor in the last edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in the island of Jeju in Korea.
She has claimed three bronze medals in the history of the European Union Women’s Championships, and competed in many international events over the past five years.
The 35-year-old Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer had to beat Sweden’s former EUBC European Women’s Youth Continental Champion Patricia Berghult in the quarter-final, and she had to be at her very best to eliminate the host nation’s AIBA Women’s Junior World Champion Ida Lundblad in the last four.
Her main rival was Sweden’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Agnes Alexiusson in the gold medal bout of the event, but Potkonen was able win the battle against the 19-year-old local future star.
Team of the tournament
The Russian elite squad claimed three gold medals in the Golden Girl Championships which was their first preparation step to their selection tournaments.
Khakassia-based Sayana Sagatayeva secured a valuable silver medal at the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest, Romania last year, and the 24-year-old Flyweight class (51 kg) boxer arrived in Boras as a favourite, where she was able to beat all of her three rivals including Julianna Soederstroem of Sweden.
Elena Savelyeva won the 2010 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Bridgetown, so therefore her triumph over Helena Envall was not a surprise in the final of the Bantamweight class (54 kg).
The third Russian gold medal in Boras was achieved by 22-year-old Tatiana Zrazhevskaya who is a new face in the Featherweight class (57 kg).
Surprise of the tournament
Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson was AIBA Women’s Junior World Champion in 2011, AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion in 2013 and she also claimed also a bronze medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The host nation’s Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer, who will be turning 19 soon, has now joined the elite level and has started superbly.
Alexiusson had to meet with Russia’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Anastasia Beliakova, who was crowned at the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) in Jeju, and surprisingly she was able to defeat the Russian star in Boras.
Although she was eventually defeated by Mira Potkonen in the gold medal bout, she is a super talented boxer who needs to be watched in 2015.
One to watch
Stars such as Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Anna Laurell, her AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion teammate Love Holgersson and Russia’s three-time National Champion Iaroslava Iakushina were the favourites for the gold medal at the Middleweight class (75 kg) in the event.
Holgersson kept the fighting distance against Iakushina in the semi-final, and her excellent use of reach was the difference between them.
Anna Laurell defeated another tough athlete in the semi-final, Elin Cederroos of Sweden, and met with Holgersson in the gold medal bout which was one of the best battlse of the entire competition.
Both boxers are among the tallest of the weight class, and Laurell used all of her veteran knowledge to defeat her thirteen years younger opponent in Boras.
Returning boxer of the tournament
Denmark’s Yvonne Baek Rasmussen was a bronze medallist at the 2007 EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Vejle, and took part also at the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Ningbo, China.
Following six years of break in her career, she returned to the world of boxing and opened her second career in the Golden Girl Championships in Boras.
The 34-year-old Danish Light Welterweight class (64 kg) boxer won all of her three bouts in the event including her final appearance against teammate Camilla Skov Jensen.
Stat/fact of the tournament
Nine nations took part in the sixth edition of the Golden Girl Championships, where Canada was the lone non-European country in the opening international tournament of 2015.
Quote of the tournament
“I was really excited in my first ever elite tournament. Before the fights I felt calm and I thought I have got nothing to lose. I felt confident and strong in my opening bout and it was such a great feeling to win my semi-final against Russia’s AIBA World Champion and EUBC European Continental Champion Anastasia Beliakova. That was a proof that I am ready for the elite level,” said Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson after the competition.
Gold medal winners in the event
Women’s Youth 54 kg: Katrin Noren, Sweden
Women’s Youth 57 kg: Sofia Nilsson, Sweden
Women’s Youth 60 kg: Stephanie Thour, Sweden
Women’s Elite 51 kg: Sayana Sagatayeva, Russia
Women’s Elite 54 kg: Elena Savelyeva, Russia
Women’s Elite 57 kg: Tatiana Zrazhevskaya, Russia
Women’s Elite 60 kg: Mira Potkonen, Finland
Women’s Elite 64 kg: Yvonne Baek Rasmussen, Denmark
Women’s Elite 69 kg: Malena Hede, Sweden
Women’s Elite 75 kg: Anna Laurell, Sweden