Uzbekistan claimed five gold medals in the Busan 2002 Asian Games where Kazakhstan’s Gennadiy Golovkin was also a winner
The 2002 edition of the boxing tournament of the Asian Games was held at the Masan Gymnasium in Busan, South Korea from October 1 until the 14th. The event was the fourteenth edition of the Asian Games and the thirteenth boxing tournament in the history of the multisport event. Uzbekistan dominated the 2002 edition in Busan where Kazakhstan’s star Gennadiy Golovkin was also among the winners.
South Korea topped the medal rankings in 1962, in 1966, in 1970, in 1974, in 1978, in 1982, in 1986 and in 1990 but their position was lost in 1994 when Philippines took over them. The medals standings were won by the host Thai team in 1998 and at the very first time Uzbekistan topped the medal rankings with five titles and altogether nine podium places in the Busan 2002 Asian Games.
The Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games was the first when the ex-Soviet Central Asian boxing powers could attend at the very first time. Their boxers have done much better in the Busan 2002 Asian Games winning more than 50% of the available gold medals. Besides to the Uzbeks and Kazakhs, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also won medals in Busan.
The first boxing tournament was held in 7 men weight classes in Manila in 1954 but from the second edition boxers could attend in 10 different categories. The Olympic Council of Asia raised the number of the weight classes up to 11 in the 1966 edition and also added a new category raising to 12 the divisions in 1982. Boxers could attend in the 2002 edition from the 48kg up to the +91kg weight categories.
Record number of seven countries claimed gold medals in 1990 and it was repeated by the strong Asian boxing powers in 1994. In the 2002 edition Uzbekistan claimed five titles in Busan, host South Korea achieved three, Kazakhstan two, Pakistan and Thailand both one gold medal.
Fifteen countries won medals in the Bangkok 1998 Asian Games but only 12 achieved at least one bronze in the new Busan 2002 edition. Next to the gold medallist nations Philippines, China, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Tajikistan, Malaysia and Palestine took the further medals in the Busan 2002 Asian Games.
Altogether 161 elite boxers from 32 nations attended in the Busan 2002 Asian Games which broke the previous record. The participating countries at the Busan 2002 Asian Games were the followings: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Chinese Taipei, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, DPR Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The first gold medal of the whole competition was achieved by South Korea’s Kim Ki Suk who defeated Philippines’ AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Harry Tannamor in the final of the light flyweight (48kg). His teammates Kim Won Il (54kg) and two-time Olympic Games bronze medallist Kim Jung Joo (67kg) also won their weight classes in Busan.
Thailand’s Somjit Jongjohor, who became AIBA World Champion one year later, was too quick for Pakistan’s Nouman Karim in the final of the flyweight (51kg). Pakistan had five finalists in the Busan 2002 Asian Games and among them Lassi Meharullah was able to win the title who had a close triumph over Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Champion Galib Dzhafarov at the featherweight (57kg).
Uzbekistan’s Dilshod Mahmudov, who competed still at the AIBA Professional Boxing in 2016, reached his first highlight at the 2002 Busan Asian Games where he controlled his lightweight (60kg) final against South Korea’s Baik Jong Sub. Malaysia’s Asian Champion Adnan Bin Yusoh and Kazakhstan’s strong Ruslan Mussinov claimed only bronze medals in this weight class.
Kazakhstan’s two-time Olympian Nurzhan Karimzhanov eliminated his main rival Uzbekistan’s Bakhyt Sarsekbayev in the semi-final and continued his winning path against Pakistan’s Asghar Ali Shah in the final of the light welterweight (63.5kg). Kazakhstan’s second gold medal in Busan was achieved by their star Gennadiy Golovkin who was only 20 by the time of the Games and dominated all of his light middleweight (71kg) fights.
The highest four weight classes in the Busan 2002 Asian Games were won by the Uzbeks with their stars boxers. AIBA World Champion Utkirbek Haydarov stopped Pakistan’s Ahmed Ali Khan in the final of the middleweight (75kg) while veteran Ikrom Berdiyev won the next light heavyweight (81kg) final against South Korea’s Choi Ki Soo.
Uzbekistan’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Sergey Mihaylov won his first success in 1998 when he defeated South Korea’s Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games silver medallist Lee Seung Bae and after that he was able to defend his title in 2002 winning the heavyweight (91kg) with top performance. The last gold medal of the 2002 edition was achieved by Uzbekistan’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Rustam Saidov who did revenge against Kazakhstan’s Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov due his previous loss.
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