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European Women's Boxing Championships

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Katie Taylor's Fifth Successive European Title

By AIBA

altThe most anticipated fight of the 8th European Women's Championships (2011) came in the Olympic Lightweight category where two superstars went head-to-head in the final. Ireland's three-time AIBA World Champion Katie Taylor and Russia's two-time AIBA World Champion Sofya Ochigava fought for the gold medal. They had met at the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem last year and that time Sofya Ochigava was victorious by a large margin of points, 8:1. In their re-match in Rotterdam, the Irish legend led by a narrow 1:0 after the first two minutes and then further increased her advantage in the second. This set her up for a dominant third and spectacular final round as she cruised to a 10:5 win. Katie Taylor could not contain her delight as she claimed her fifth successive European title.

Russia's European Championships silver medallist Svetlana Gnevanova secured a gold medal for herself in Rotterdam after defeating Wales' first ever finalist Lynsey Holdaway. Gnevanova's boxing was excellent throughout and had the skills as she overpowered her rival 13:9 in the Light Flyweight category.

England's two-time AIBA World Championships silver medallist Nicola Adams went one better in Rotterdam. The 29-year-old Haringey-based English fighter used up all her experience in the Olympic Flyweight final as she overcame the challenge of France's Sara Ourahmoune for the second time this year.

Russia's National Champion Yelena Savelyeva was the big favourite in the Bantamweights and she made her golden dreams come true in Rotterdam. Savelyeva triumphed over Poland's surprise package Sandra Drabik by the impressive margin of 16:12, giving Russia its second gold medal at these European Championships.

Seven Ukrainian competitors advanced to the semi-finals but only two made it to the final day of the championships. Firstly Natalya Biryuk showcased her skills and had an extremely close fight with England's Lisa Whiteside, who exceeded expectations in these championships by reaching the final. In the end the contest was won 15:14 by Biryuk who claimed Ukraine's only gold medal.

Turkey's two-time AIBA World Champion Gulsum Tatar defended her European title in the Dutch city after beating Armenia's new sensation, former Swedish National Champion Armine Sinabian.  Tatar won comfortably 10:4 in the Light Welterweight category. Sinabian's silver was the first ever medal in a European Championships for Armenia.

Netherland's 33-year-old Marichelle De Jong had won several medals in different major tournaments and championships during a glittering career and she added another one as she triumphed on home soil to take the gold medal. Welterweight No.1 De Jong was too strong for Ukraine's Maria Badulina and the crowd were delirious as she stood on the top of the podium.

Russia's current AIBA World Champion Nadezhda Torlopova moved down two weight classes following her great victory in Bridgetown, she did this in order to compete in the London Olympic Games. In the Middleweight category she faced Netherlands' EU Champion Nouchka Fontijn, who had eliminated both Hungary's two-time AIBA World Champion Maria Kovacs and England's top favourite Savannah Marshall in these championships. Torlopova however proved too strong as her excellent technique gave her the edge as she took the gold medal in Rotterdam by beating the Dutchwoman 13:11.

The fourth Russian gold medal went to 19-year-old European Youth Champion Svetlana Kosova who became the youngest amongst the winners in Rotterdam. The Russian teenager did not give a chance to Poland's Sylwia Kusiak in the Heavyweight final as she secured a career best by winning the bout by a huge margin 17:6.

Turkey's former AIBA World Champion Semsi Yarali met Russia's two-time AIBA World Champion Irina Sinetskaya in the Super Heavyweight final. Despite the fact that Sinetskaya was favourite for the title, it was the experienced Turkish boxer who claimed the gold medal after beating her opponent in a close contest 12:10.