Two dark horses from DPR Korea and Russia shared the final
berths of men's feather weight (57kg) category in the boxing
tournament of the 2004 Athens Olympic Gameshere on Friday.
In the first feather weight semifinal played in the Peristeri
Olympic Boxing Hall, DPR Korean Kim Song Guk turned out to be the
winner of a close battle against German Vitali Tajbert, beating the
latter on points 29-24.
The German, 2004 European champion and also a silver medalist at
the 2003 Bangkok World Championships, was the last survivor of
several top medal favorites in the tournament. He had ousted strong
opponents like Khedafi Djelkhir of France and Luis Franco Vazquez
of Cuba in the previous rounds.
However, the taller DPR Korean took full advantage of his height
and gradually controlled the match in the latter half. Though the
two had been winning points alternately throughout the match, the
DPR Korean took the lead in the third and fourth rounds9-5 and 9-7
to secure his win.
Tajbert's loss also shattered the German's hope for an Olympic
gold medal from the boxing arena, as the other German boxer in the
semifinals Rustamhodza Rahimov was also shut out of the flyweight
(51kg) final in an earlier match Friday.
In the other feather weight semifinal, Russian Alexei
Tichtchenko easily crushed his South Korean rival Jo Seok Hwan
45-25 on points to reach the final, scheduled for Saturday
Tichtchenko, who was not a hot favorite even inside the powerful
Russian team which has 9 European champions out of its total 11
boxers, produced a major upset in the quarterfinal stage by
disqualifying reigning world champion Galib Jafarov of
The victory of Tichtchenko was a great news for the gold-thirsty
Russians, who, with only 15 golds for the present, are trying
desperately to catch up with the United States and China, the top
two position holders so far on the Games' medal tally.
(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2004)