Japan’s hard work paid off in Belgrade and guaranteed their first two gold medals in the event’s history

Japan achieved fourth position in the medal standings of the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships and ranked No.5 in the team rankings of the event. Japan never reached such big heights in any of the previous competitions and the country did not claim any gold medals in the event’s history until the Belgrade edition. Tomoya Tsuboi and Sewon Okazawa both achieved Japan’s historical titles in the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships.

Japan’s best result in the history of the event was a silver medal from the 2011 Baku edition which was achieved by their star, Ryota Murata at the middleweight (75kg). Following ten years of hiatus, Japan represented the semi-finals and the finals with two boxers and both of them won their weight categories in Belgrade, Serbia. Their team won altogether 17 contests out of their total number of 25 during the event.

A young but powerful Japanese team attended in the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia where they accomplished almost all of their goals. Their national coaches including Mr. Yuji Oyamada, Mr. Kazuma Miura and Mr. Hirokuni Moto selected 10 strong boxers to attend in the competition and among them five are still in the U22 age group.

The Japanese national boxing team earned three medals in the Tokyo Olympic Games, among them Ryomei Tanaka achieved bronze in the men’s part of the competition at the flyweight (52kg). The 28-year-old experienced boxer was not a team member at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships.

Tomoya Tsuboi arrived to the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships in amazing shape, he returned to the top team after three years of break, following his last important appearance at the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games. Tsuboi developed rapidly in terms of speed and technical skills which delivered for him a gold medal at the bantamweight (54kg). The 25-year-old boxer defeated France’s Billal Bennama and Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan in the final stages of the championship.

Japan’s welterweight (67kg) sensation, Sewon Okazawa claimed silver medal at the Bangkok 2019 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships but since then he also reached the level of the best boxers. He started the Belgrade event with a tough battle but he succeeded and moved ahead in the competition step by step. Okazawa eliminated such strong boxers as Uzbekistan’s Asadkhudja Muydinkhudjayev, Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov and United States’ Omari Jones.

The AIBA Youth World Champions, the amazing Tsutsumi brothers Hayato and Reito both attended in the Belgrade event. Reito Tsutsumi competed at the featherweight (57kg) this time but due to his injury he was far away from his top form and he had an early elimination. His elder brother Hayato defeated Cuba’s three-time AIBA World Champion Lazaro Alvarez but he had a narrow loss in the round of 16. Kazuma Aratake is a 19-year-old talent who won all of his high school national events in Japan but he had to miss the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce due to the Covid-19 issues. The teenage boxer advanced to the quarter-finals as third Japanese boxer and lost to only the eventual silver medallist Wuttichai Yurachai of Thailand Boxing Federation in a tight contest.

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