Kazakhstan’s Olympic boxers are to contribute to exercise camps in the United States and Cuba in groundwork for Tokyo Olympic. The boxers have been unable to adequately prepare for this year’s Olympics in the Japanese capital as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine issues.
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Heavyweight Vassiliy Levit, super-heavyweight Kamshybek Kunkabayev, lightweight Zakir Safiullin and light-heavyweight Bekzad Nurdauletov have toured to Miami in the US to train. All four have already qualified for Tokyo Olympic and are considered to be among Kazakhstan’s greatest Olympic medal hopes at the Games.
Nurdauletov is the reigning world champion after triumphing in Yekaterinburg in 2019, Kunkabayev is a two-time world silver medalist and Levit claimed an Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016. The team will train in the US pending the end of this month and will emphasis on refining overall fitness.
Also, they will spar with professional American boxers to gain experience. Two teams of 16 boxers are also set to travel to the Cuban capital of Havana this month. This includes Tokyo-bound boxers Abilkhan Amankul, Ablaikhan Zhussupov, Serik Temirzhanov and Saken Bibosynov. Zhussupov is a two-time world bronze medalist in the welterweight division, while Amankul finished with a world silver medal in the middleweight contest in 2017.
Temirzhanov and Bibosynov contest in the featherweight and flyweight separations respectively. The remainder of the athletes travelling to Cuba is reserve boxers preparing for national events.
“It will be a great experience for our boxers who have recently been able to train with their teammates,” said Kazakhstan’s head coach Galymbek Kenzhebayev.
They will now be able to pole with top-quality adversaries. Together training camps will reinforce the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. Following postponement due to the global health crisis, the Olympics are now scheduled for July 23 to August 8.
Boxing is Kazakhstan’s most successful Olympic sport, with the Central Asian nation earning seven gold medals, seven silver and eight bronze in total. Daniyar Yeleussinov, who has since twisted professional, settled gold in the men’s welterweight contest at Rio 2016.
Adilbek Niyazymbetov joined Levit in taking silver after he finished second in the men’s light heavyweight, while Ivan Dychko and Dariga Shakimova finished with bronze in the men’s super-heavyweight and women’s middleweight divisions respectively. Nine boxers from Kazakhstan have qualified for Tokyo Olympic.
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