Zou Shiming, Rasulov, Saidov and Sarsekbayev impressed in the Doha 2006 Asian Games

The 2006 edition of the boxing tournament of the Asian Games was held in Doha, Qatar from December 2 until the 13th. The event was the fifteenth edition of the Asian Games and the fourteenth boxing tournament in the history of the multisport event. China’s Zou Shiming, Uzbekistan’s Elshod Rasulov and Kazakhstan’s Bakhyt Sarsekbayev impressed in the finals where Rustam Saidov defended his throne.
Uzbekistan dominated the 2002 edition in Busan and their boxers were able to win the medal rankings in the Doha 2006 Asian Games as well. 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 and never regained it.
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 amazing performance also in the 2006 edition when besides to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, another Central Asian country, Tajikistan also won a historical gold medal in Doha.
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 11 weight classes in the 2006 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 and in 2006 as well. In the 2006 edition Uzbekistan achieved three titles in Doha, China and Philippines both won two gold medals. The remaining gold medals were taken by Thailand, Kazakhstan, Iran and Tajikistan.
Fourteen countries won medals in the Doha 2006 Asian Games and next to the gold medallist nations South Korea, Mongolia, India, Japan, DPR Korea, Qatar and Syria were also bagged at least one podium place. The host of the 2006 edition Qatar achieved its first ever medal in boxing, their Hzam Nabah claimed bronze at the light heavyweight (81kg).
Altogether 192 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, China, Chinese Taipei, East Timor, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, DPR Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The first gold medal of the whole competition was achieved by China’s Zou Shiming who claimed two Olympic titles following his first Asian Games success. The Chinese light flyweight (48kg) boxer outpointed Thailand’s Suban Pannon in the final and following that his teammate Hu Qing secured the second title for China at the lightweight (60kg) where he triumphed over Mongolia’s Uranchimeg Munkherdene.
Thailand’s Somjit Jongjohor, who became AIBA World Champion in 2003, arrived to Doha as the titleholder of the flyweight (51kg) but surprisingly he was defeated by Philippines’ Violito Payla in the final. Philippines’ second gold medal was achieved by Joan Tipon at the bantamweight (54kg) who defeated Olympic medallists as Thailand’s Worapoj Petchkoom and South Korea’s Han Soon Chul in the final stages of the Games.
Uzbekistan claimed three titles in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where their first was taken by Bakhodirjon Sultanov at the featherweight (57kg) after beating Mongolia’s Enkhzorigt Zorigtbaatar. Elshod Rasulov impressed in the final of the middleweight (75kg) against Kazakhstan’s Athens 2004 Olympic Games winner Bakhtiyar Artayev and won Uzbekistan’s second gold medal in Doha.
Kazakhstan’s star Bakhyt Sarsekbayev did not give any chance to his opponents in Doha and won the title of the welterweight (69kg). His star teammates as AIBA World Champion Galib Dzhafarov (57kg), later Olympic Champion Serik Sapiyev (64kg) and Dmitriy Gotfrid (91kg) claimed only bronze medals in Doha. Among the stars Uzbekistan’s Dilshod Mahmudov (64kg), Mongolia’s Enkhbat Badar-Uugan (54kg) and India’s Vijender Singh (75kg) also took bronze medals in the 2006 edition.
Tajikistan’s Jakhon Qurbonov won his first Asian title in 2005 at the age of 19 and one year later he did a historical success in Doha becoming the first Tajik who could win gold in the Asian Games. The Tajik light heavyweight (81kg) boxer was too strong for China’s Olympic Champion Zhang Xiaoping, Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Champion Yerdos Dzhanabergenov, Iran’s Mehdi Ghorbani and South Korea’s Song Hak Sung during his road to the gold.
The last gold medal of the 2006 edition was achieved by Uzbekistan’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Rustam Saidov who defeated Kazakhstan’s Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov in the repeat final of the 2002 Asian Games. The Uzbek super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer defended his throne in Doha with top performance in the final.

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