Preliminary rounds continue, with Chinese Taipei emerging strong
ELISTA — The Oirat-Arena sports complex in Elista, Russia was packed to the brim over the weekend, as the World University Boxing Championship got underway. With the world’s best student boxers representing 22 countries in the ring, it promises to be an intense week of competition running through till 6 September. The WUC Boxing is the biggest international event to be hosted in Kalmykia region of the Russian Federation since the the Chess Olympiad 1998, 20 years ago.
18 fights were decided on Saturday, 16 in the men’s categories and 2 fights among the women. On Sunday, boxing fans were treated to high quality bouts, with boxers from Chinese Taipei emerging particularly impressive – four out of the five fighters from this delegation won their qualifying battles. The preliminary rounds continue till Tuesday, 4 September, following which the semi-finals and finals will be staged on 5 and 6 September. A total of 13 medals are at stake, 10 in the men’s events and 3 in the women’s weight categories. The event is turning out to be incredibly popular with the locals, with more than 1500 spectators filing in and filling up the stands every day.
Earlier, in what was a prelude of things to come, the opening ceremony of the Championship saw a packed arena. The ceremony began with an enchanting song and dance performance, reflecting the nomad culture of Kalmyk people.
Representatives of 22 delegations took part in the parade of countries representing Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Chinese Taipei and the Russian Federation.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Head of the Republic, Mr Alexey Orlov and other high-ranking authorities of Kalmykia, as well as FISU President Oleg Matytsin. The opening ceremony took place on the first day of September, which is celebrated in Russia as the Day of Knowledge, when the academic year starts all over the country.
FISU President Oleg Matytsin attended a solemn ceremony at the Kalmyk State University, met with Rector Badma Salayev and visited the University’s dormitory where some of the WUC Boxing participants are accommodated.
Another special guest attended the opening ceremony: Kostya Tszyu, 1991 Boxing World Champion and winner of numerous professional championships.
Tszyu also held a boxing masterclass that was attended by students from around the region and across the Federation.
Watch a comprehensive video of the opening ceremony and first day of competition below