August 27, 2014 / 3:30 PM / 3 years ago

Cubans pack a punch on last day in the ring

NANJING China (Reuters) - World champion Javier Ibanez Diaz and Yordan Alain Hernandez Morejon enhanced Cuba’s fine boxing reputation with a gold medal apiece on the final day in the ring at the Youth Olympic Games on Wednesday.

Ibanez Diaz collected the 56kg gold with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Bulgarian Dushko Mihaylov at the Nanjing International Expo Center, while Hernandez Morejon won the 91kg class on a day when two other world champions bit the dust.

Ibanez Diaz looked formidable from the start, but it was his final-round aggression that dashed Mihaylov’s hopes of winning the gold.

“It was a fierce fight. I knew that it would be a tough fight and I was prepared and I won it,” said the elated Cuban. “These Games mean a lot to me.”

Compatriot Hernandez Morejon doubled the delight when he overcame Toni Filipi of Croatia 2-1 in the 91kg class.

Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov, however, denied Cuba a golden hat-trick by pipping Alain Limonta Boudet to the 60kg title.

German Peter Kadiru stunned Daramni Rock 3-0 in the +91kg final, which upset the American youth and continental world champion, who shunned media and threw away the mascot presented to him at the medal ceremony before leaving the stadium.

The mood contrasted with that in the German camp where coach Michael Timm hailed Kadiru as a boxer with a “big heart”.

“He is from Ghana, actually, and now lives in Hamburg,” said Timm. “He has a family and has three brothers to support. He gives all the money he earns to his mother to support the family. He has a big heart.”

Another world champion, Dmitrii Nesterov, of Russia, lost to Ukraine’s Ramil Gadzhyiev, who won the 75kg middleweight gold in one of the 10 men’s finals of the day.


Elsewhere at Nanjing, France won two of the four gold medals on offer in the canoe-kayak obstacle slalom.

Lucas Roisin took their first of the day, beating Robert Hendrick, of Ireland by less than a second to capture the men’s C1 title.

In the next race, Camille Prigent pipped China’s Yan Jiahua by just over half a second to claim the women’s K1 gold.

Russia’s rhythmic gymnast Irina Annenkova showed great flexibility and smooth handling of the apparatus to win the individual all-around gold but still was not fully satisfied with her performance.

“I was expecting more from myself,” Annenkova said having scored a top mark of 14.975 in the hoop.

“I am happy about the marks here, but I was expecting to get a 16. I wanted to, but I couldn‘t.”

Russia also took gold in the group all-around event.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; editing by Ken Ferris

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