The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) very much wanted to promote its sport at university level and insisted on the organization of the first World University Boxing Championships despite a very late application. And it was certainly right – the first championship, that took place in Antalya in 2004, was a great success. This was due to the very solid file that the Turks presented at the time and their dynamic policy for promoting the games. 129 boxers from 27 countries met on the west coast of Turkey for this inaugural tournament. For a first edition, figures for participation were quite remarkable, giving an indication of the promising future of the discipline at FISU. Subsequently, many countries applied to organize the next championship games.
Deputy-Minister of Education Mr. Byrganym Aitimova
So, initial cooperation between FISU and AIBA began auspiciously. All through the championship, officials from FISU and AIBA had an opportunity to meet on several occasions. These discussions gave the FISU representatives a better understanding of boxing and its particular rules. Secretary General of AIBA, Mr. Caner Doganelli in fact gave a presentation on the many changes that have taken place in this sport over the last 20 years. They all have the same objective: improving the safety of boxers both in practice sessions and during the matches themselves. The venue for the second World University Boxing Championships was again decided late, which did have an effect on participation. The city of Almaty, in Kazakhstan was chosen to organize the tournament. This was a first for the University Sports Association of the country which has been a member of FISU since 1993.
Although they were novices in organizing World University Championships, this did not prevent our Kazakh hosts from welcoming the participants under very good conditions. The boxers had the advantage of very professional technical supervision provided jointly by the AIBA, the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation and FISU. As we mentioned earlier, the fact that the championship was attributed late did have consequences – participation was honourable, but not comparable to the numbers in the first edition. In fact, 82 boxers from 14 countries enrolled for Almaty. Nevertheless, the level of competition was very high. Actually, attracting such high-quality contestants is rare for a sport that was part of our programme for the second time only. With a world champion, former junior champions, Asian, European and national champions, this was a University tournament at the very top, comparable to other major international boxing meets.
The host country of Kazakhstan obtained the best results, taking six gold medals and one silver. With two gold medals and four silver, the Russians took second place. Mongolia, Lithuania and Uzbekistan also recorded noteworthy results. Finally, as compared to the first edition, 5 new countries were present: Japan, Lithuania, Moldavia, Mongolia and Serbia. Collaboration with the AIBA was further reinforced during this championship as on this occasion Mr. Caner Doganelli and Mr. Sinisa Jasnic, FISU Assessor and President of the Technical Committee for our World University Championships signed an agreement binding the two associations. Several international sports federations have already signed similar contracts with FISU. This is quite a breakthrough – we will get better recognition within these various associations, and on the other hand, FISU will contribute to promoting their sports at university level.
Mr. Campana receiving his honorary doctorate
Finally, our hosts from the Kazakhstan University Sports Association wanted to thank our Secretary General Mr. Roch Campana, for his support and for being present in Almaty during the championship. After a meeting with the leaders of the Kazakh Olympic Committee, Mr. Campana was invited to the Academy of Sports and Tourism. Mr. Kairat Zakiryanov, the Rector and President of NUSF awarded him the title of honorary professor, a distinction Mr. Campana was proud to accept.
Male Athletes: 82
Female Athletes: 0
Total Participants: 115