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Boxing's Rio Olympic Era Begins

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By AIBA

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The first international event in the new Olympic era, the 17th edition of the Brandenburg Youth Tournament was held in Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany. The event was a good opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming AIBA Youth World Championships which will be held later this year.

Russia and Germany topped the team ranking after each winning four top positions in Frankfurt while Lithuania and Denmark both claimed gold medals in the event which brought together 107 youth boxers from 18 nations. It was mostly European countries taking but there was also a strong Canadian presence in Germany.

Russia's 17-year-old European Junior Championships silver medallist Yusup Gazayev who now fights at the 49kg weight looked classy Canada's talented Evan Gillard and his technique and poise were enough for him to win the final 14:10.

18-year-old Richard Gomann, who has been a member of the German national squad in various age groups since 2009, eliminated Lithuania's European Youth Championships bronze medallist Viktor Komkov in the quarter-final before overcoming the challenge of Russia's current Youth National Champion Nikita Kuznetsov in the semi-finals. He then defeated top flyweight boxer, Russia's Bakhtovar Nazirov to claim gold. France's Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Tournament winner Samuel Kistohurry surprised everyone after failing to make it into the last four.

European Junior Championships quarter-finalist Omar El-Hag achieved the host nation's second gold medal in the event after winning the Bantamweight final against France's 18-year-old Mostar Youth Tournament winner Elias Friha by close 12:8. Omar El-Hag has now a very good chance of being involved with the German national squad which will be competing at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships later this year.

AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist Huseyn Baysangurov from Russia had a great battle against Canada's newcomer Michael Abbruscato in the quarter-final and won their Lightweight contest on count-back. His final opponent was France's Sofiane Oumiha, who eliminated Russia's Ahmet Comert Junior Tournament winner Kristian Stepanov in the semi-final stage of the event. Baysangurov had the skills to dominate the Frenchman and found the right tactic to claim victory in the gold medal contest.

Lithuania's youth team captain, Algirdas Socikas Tournament winner Eimantas Stanionis, was in scintillating form throughout the competition and showcased all of his talent as he beat France's Yannick Dehez, who has already accumulated 100 bouts in his fledgling career. The 171cm tall Lithuanian Light Welterweight boxer is one of the big gold medal contenders at the forthcoming AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

European Youth Champion and former European Junior Champion Igor Kharitonov has won almost all of his bouts in the last couple of years and the Russian claimed another tournament victory at the Brandenburg Youth Tournament after he triumphed over Germany's Abbas Baraou 15:9 in the Welterweight final.

Germany's defending Youth National Champion Abu-Lubdeh Abdulrahman secured the host nation's third gold medal in the Middleweight class after beating top Polish prospect Arkadiusz Szwedowicz 14:11. Russia's European Youth Championships silver medallist Magomed Madiyev surprisingly failed to reach any medal in the tournament.

An all-Nordic final was held at the Light Heavyweight with Denmark's Youth National Champion Alexander Jankovic and Norway's 17-year-old Joakim Sliwa going head-to-head in the gold medal bout. The big Danish hope had shocked the Russian Youth National Champion Aleksey Yashkov in the quarter-final and this extra energy was enough to see him beat his Norwegian rival in the final as well.

Russia's 17-year-old former European Junior Champion Andrey Stotskiy showed excellent performance in various international events this year so his final victory over Germany's Tom Schwarz came as no surprise. The final verdict of their contest was 15:5 to the tough Russian competitor.

Germany's super heavyweight No.2 Dennis Lewandowski exceeded expectations in the Brandenburg Youth Tournament to not only advance to the final but to also win the gold medal after beating Russia's current Youth National Champion Ivan Kabatov 12:10 at Super Heavyweight.

With so much talent coming through the ranks, the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships that will be held later this year promise to introduce the world to a whole new wave of promising fighters that are sure to