Day Three already at the IFMA World Cup in Kazan and we are as they say approaching the business end of the tournament with The World Games places looming large!
Today also saw awards for the junior athletes even though they are not preparing for next year’s Games. But as Stephan Fox IFMA general secretary said these juniors are part of IFMA’s plans for the 2021 World Games in Birmingham, USA. So they should also receive the excitement of a medal ceremony!
There was action in two rings again, with 39 fights spread between male and female athletes looking for gold.
As always it’s hard to pick out individual bouts when there is so much talent on show. One fight which caught the crowd’s attention came late in the day at 91kgs in Ring A between the Czech Republic and Russia.
Jakob Klauda took on Arslan Illyev in a tough battle that went down to points difference at the end. Klauda was scoring points with fast punch combinations, while Illyev was more comfortable in the grapple using his longer reach to stay out of trouble. Illyev took the win, going on to the finals on Saturday.
Portugal and Iran fought it out at 75kgs between Diego Calado and Ghaedibardeh Mohammad with Portugal taking a points win after a tough bout. Latvia’s Zaurs Sadihovs was also in action against Russian athlete Aleksi Ullianov with Russia taking the win.
In the women’s contest the Russian women justified the focus and investment which has been made in improving standards as they claimed a number of junior level and adult wins. The three female divisions going to The World Games (51, 54 and 60kgs) were not in action today, as the finalists have already secured their places for Saturday’s bouts!
Once again the local crowd was out in force, with the Uzbek community definitely in evidence yesterday afternoon when four athletes took the Uzbek flag into the ring. Let’s just say the fans got a bit excited for the wins! And lots of Russian support too, not just at Ring A but also around the ring where the junior boxers battled it out.
Friday is a Rest Day before the finals on Saturday. Many of the athletes will take an excursion around the city visiting the Kazan Kremlin and other cultural sites. And as it is also International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women, and to mark IFMA’s partnership with UN Women Asia-Pacific the athletes will do something special to celebrate it.