By Caoilte de Barra
At the 2022 European Championships, Ukraine topped both the junior and senior medal tables, tallying 19 medals in total. At last year’s set of World Championships, no members of the squad managed to secure gold. However, this year they are one of the top teams and could very well top the medal table at the World Championships.
Another large squad is set to travel to Belgrade, Serbia, and the focus will be on placing first in the medal table once again. Some of the standout athletes from the European Championships are among the athletes, while several youth world medalists are making the jump to junior.
European junior flyweight gold medalist Anastasiia Holinko is one of the athletes who has enjoyed a successful transition from the youth ranks. The two-time IMMAF youth world champion has finished at the top of the podium at every IMMAF competition she has entered. She has the opportunity to create history by adding a junior world gold to her collection.
A pair of siblings also feature in the squad with Marianna and Ionna Skuba. Marianna has one IMMAF medal from the 2021 World Cup, while Ioanna is coming off a gold medal-winning run at the most recent set of Youth World Championships.
The other Youth World medalists on the squad include Yurii Pasych, Oleksandr Hulialiev and Ivan Yushenko.
European silver medalists Ivan Kurelaru, Marta Pankiv, Dmytro Kolomiiets and Roman Kiziuk are all set to compete. Kurelaru went on a sensational run at European Championships, defeating some elite competition before being outpointed by George Staines in the final.
The 2021 World Cup Gold medalist has been competing on the IMMAF platform since 2019 and has solidified himself as one of the best amateur lightweights around and will be hoping he can reach the summit and win a world gold medal to kickstart the year.
The ever-exciting squad of athletes never fails to deliver when they compete at IMMAF, and the squad is one of the nation’s strongest to date. The provisional list of athletes heading to the World Championships is as follows:
Strawweight -115lbs(52.1kgs) – Ioanna Skuba
Flyweight -125lbs(56.7kgs) – Anastasiia Holinko
Flyweight -125lbs(56.7kgs) – Tymur Kirahosiants & Kyrylo Soloviov
Bantamweight -135lbs(61.2kgs) – Yurii Pasych & Ihor Semonchuk
Featherweight -145lbs(65.8kgs) – Danylo Melnyk & Andrii Misiuk
Lightweight -155lbs(70.3kgs) – Oleksandr Huliaiev & Milan Nikolenko
Welterweight -170lbs(77.1kgs) – Ivan Yushenko
Flyweight -125lbs(56.7kgs) – Marta Pankiv
Featherweight -145lbs(65.8kgs) – Marianna Skuba & Viktoriia Panchenko
Strawweight -115lbs(52.1kgs) – Maksym Afanasiev & Oleksandr Shevchenko
Flyweight -125lbs(56.7kgs) – Dmytro Kolomiiets & Dmytro Makarov
Bantamweight -135lbs(61.2kgs) – Oleksandr Stepenko
Featherweight -145lbs(65.8kgs) – Soltan Veliiev
Lightweight -155lbs(70.3kgs) – Ivan Kurelaru
Welterweight -170lbs(77.1kgs) – Roman Pylypchuk
Middleweight -185lbs(83.9kgs) – Tymur Kurbankadiiev
Light Heavyweight -205lbs(93.0kgs) – Roman Kiziuk
Heavyweight -265lbs(120.2kgs) – Volodymyr Nesterenko