Kazakhstan’s momentum at the 2019 Asian Open sees the nation edge closer to officially topping the event’s medal table. Advancing via their semi-final triumphs, an incredible 12 Kazakh athletes progressed to Saturday’s gold medal showdowns. Recap the surprises of Day 1 HERE.
As the dominant team in Bangkok, Team Kazakhstan went 12-8 in the semi-finals round, followed by Team Bahrain who celebrate five semi-final winners. Malaysia, China, New Zealand and Lebanon also secured big wins, each seeing one representative pick up an impressive victory on the championship’s penultimate day.
21-year-old Malaysian Colleen Augustin stood out as one to watch and set the tone for another unpredictable day of action , snatching a second round TKO win over Kazakhstan’s Shynar Zhussipova in the women’s strawweight bracket.
The Kazakh team evened the score as former World Championships bronze medalist and Asian Open silver medalist, Ayan Tursyn, forced a first round TKO stoppage of her own in the women’s atomweight semi-final, besting Malaysia’s Amirah Makhtar.
However, uncertainty remained for Kazakhstan as intense Chinese flyweight contender Huihua Ni continued the day’s run of TKO finishes, booking China’s place in the finals with a first round stoppage of Tolkyn Daurenbekova.
The opening 6 bouts of the 21 bout card saw consecutive finishes, 4 TKOs, 2 submissions. By the end of the day 12 bouts ended via stoppage with 9 judge’s decisions.
In the men’s strawweight division, reigning world champion Bagdat Zhubanysh maintained his flawless form, dispatching of Malaysian Brandon Tang with a first round triangle choke submission. An all Kazakh final was booked with Yerulan Kabdulov completing a first round head-and-arm choke against Bahrain’s Isa Aldoy.
An all-Kazakh final is also set for the male bantamweights with reigning Asian Open champion and former world silver medalist Olzhas Moldagaliyev and Dastan Amangeldy each earning unanimous decisions over their Bahrain rivals.
One of Bahrain’s most impressive hopefuls, Shamil Gimbatov, took a step closer to the continental title after earning bronze at the World Championships, the men’s lightweight challenger closed out a unanimous decision win over Kazakhstan’s Mazhit Sardarov.
Australia faced disappointment as 2019 Oceania Open champion and World Championships bronze medalist Cody Barnwell was dealt his exit in the welterweight division, losing out via a unanimous decision to Aidyn Tolepbayev of Kazakhstan.
Immediately after, New Zealand’s Talor Wetere produced one of the most impressive performances of the day, finishing a second round rear-naked-choke to he submit former Africa Open champion Abbas Khan, one of Team Bahrain’s most exciting performers at the international level.
In the heavyweight bracket it will be a Lebanon vs. Bahrain final with both athletes coming off knockout victories, Lebanon’s Bachir Ricardo having stopped Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Dya in just 69 seconds, mirrored in the day’s climax with Bahrain’s Shamil Gaziev stopping the second of Kazakhstan’s heavyweights, Eldar Kudarov, at 1:16 of the opening round.
For full results and upcoming finals schedule click HERE.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran