26 years ago on this day – Philippines, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and South Korea were the best nations in the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games

The finals of the boxing tournament of the 12th Asian Games was held in Hiroshima, Japan 26 years ago on this day. Several stars such as Thailand’s Somluck Kamsing, Philippines’ Mansueto Velasco, Uzbekistan’s Oleg Maskayev and Kazakhstan’s Nurzhan Smanov won gold medals in 1994.

The Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games was the first competition when the independent Central Asian ex-Soviet nations could attend in the multisport event. The 1994 Asian Games was held in Hiroshima, Japan and its boxing tournament took place from October 4 until the 13th. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan also could attend in the Hiroshima edition.

Boxers competed in the 1994 edition of the Asian Games in 12 categories, from the light flyweight (48kg) up to the super heavyweight (+91kg). Philippines achieved three titles and topped the medal table in 1994, while Kazakhstan, South Korea and Uzbekistan took each two gold medals in Hiroshima. Thailand, Iran and host Japan were the further gold medallist nations in the Asian Games.

Thirteen countries won medals in the Beijing 1990 Asian Games and fourteen nations were able to get at least one podium place in 1994. Next to the gold medallist nations Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Syria and Turkmenistan also achieved at least one bronze medal in Hiroshima. Altogether 141 elite boxers from 24 nations attended in the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games which was another record in the history of the boxing event.

Philippines’ first gold medal was achieved by Mansueto Velasco at the light flyweight (48kg) after beating Thailand’s Pramuansak Phosuwan in a narrow fight. Elias Recaido defeated a local boxer, Japan’s Kenji Nakazono in the final of the flyweight (51kg) where Uzbekistan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Khikmatulla Akhmedov have been eliminated in the quarter-finals. Reynaldo Galido was in top form in the 1994 Asian Games and defeated all of his rivals achieving Philippines’ third gold medal.

Somluck Kamsing represented Thailand at the featherweight (57kg) in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games following his 19th birthday. He claimed gold at the 1994 Asian Boxing Championships and repeated that performance also at the Asian Games in Hiroshima. Kamsing defeated Myanmar’s Kyaw Min, Uzbekistan’s promising Makhammatkodir Abdullaev, Indonesia’s Nemo Bahari and finally Pakistan’s Zaigham Maseel.

Kazakhstan’s Nurzhan Smanov was an experienced boxer in 1994 with several international events in his career and defeated his main rival Uzbekistan’s Nariman Atayev already in the semi-finals. Smanov managed to win the final of the welterweight (67kg) against Thailand’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Arkhom Chenglai. His teammate Kanatbek Shagatayev achieved the title of the light middleweight (71kg) taking Kazakhstan’s second gold medal.

Alisher Avezbayev claimed Uzbekistan’s first gold medal in the boxing event of the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games which was the country’s historical success. The Uzbek heavyweight (91kg) boxer defeated Nepal’s Raj Kumar Thapaliya, China’s Tao Jiang and finally he stopped Saudi Arabia’s Yousuf Hawsawi during his road to the title.

Oleg Maskayev won several titles in the national events of the Soviet Union therefore he was the most experienced Asian boxer at the super heavyweight (+91kg) in Hiroshima. The Uzbek boxer won his semi-final over India’s Raj Kumar Sangwan by RSC and he has done the same strong job against Iran’s Mohammad Reza Samadi in the final of the heaviest weight class. Maskayev won Uzbekistan’s second gold medal in the Asian Games after Alisher Avezbayev’s success.

List of the winners in the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games
48kg: Mansueto Velasco, Philippines
51kg: Elias Recaido, Philippines
54kg: Yeom Jong Kil, South Korea
57kg: Somluck Kamsing, Thailand
60kg: Tsuyoshi Yaegashi, Japan
63.5kg: Reynaldo Galido, Philippines
67kg: Nurzhan Smanov, Kazakhstan
71kg: Kanatbek Shagatayev, Kazakhstan
75kg: Lee Seung Bae, South Korea
81kg: Ayoub Purtaghi Ghoushchi, Iran
91kg: Alisher Avezbayev, Uzbekistan
+91kg: Oleg Maskayev, Uzbekistan

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