The steady rise of Asia to overtake Europe is a fascinating development at the ongoing Women’s World boxing championships held at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here.
Alongside the fine showing of Asian power China (which has five boxers in the medal rounds), the re-emergence of India (one medal in the previous meet to four now) and North Korea (one to three) have helped the biggest continent take 21 of the 40 medals at stake. The improvement shown by Japan and Chinese Taipei is novel; it has also contributed to the shift of power as far as medals in women’s boxing is concerned. Both had just one medal in the history of the event but got two apiece here.
For the second time in a row, the top two countries with the most number of medals belong to Asia. In the 2016 edition, Kazakhstan and China were perched atop the list with six medals apiece and the continent had a total of 16. Europe had secured 16 medals as well.
“Europe had been dominating in number of medals. But Asia is catching up. Asian countries have big population and boxing is strong in many countries. And there is economic boom in many countries,” said India’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva, who is also the secretary of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) coaches’ commission.
Japan’s rise should be taken seriously, Nieva felt. “Japan was nowhere and now they are doing well. They are hosting 2020 Olympics and they are doing good investment to get some good results,” she said.
Improved Japan, Chinese Taipei
Former National coach Anoop Kumar, who has led the National side to many world championships, also said Japan and Chinese Taipei boxers gave much better performances. “The general level of the competition has remained more or less the same. Countries like China and North Korea have done well in the past as well. I remember, in the 2002 world championships, Mary Kom was up against a North Korean Boxer (Jang Song-Ae) and had got a counting before she fought back to win her first gold medal.
“The emergence of Japan and Chinese Taipei is a new development. But the slide of Russia (just one boxer in the medal round) in the last two editions (including the current one) is a bit of surprise,” said Anoop.