Karol wins European Silver
In his European semi final on Tues 23rd April, Karol Itauma scored with several clean counter punches and forced a standing count in the first round. His strong Georgian opponent kept forcing the pace in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but Itauma was one step ahead in the final two rounds and was duly awarded a unanimous points decision from the judges to put him in the rare position of making the European final in his first International competition.
He could have been forgiven for having a few nerves as his opponent in the final on Wednesday was the reigning European champion from Russia. It was during a St Marys training session, so one of the coaches brought an electronic tablet to the club, put it on a chair for a 15 minute break in training and all Itaumas team mates, coaches and parents tuned in to cheer him on, as it was streamed live on youtube. The final was a cagey affair with both boxers very evenly matched and conscious of making any mistakes. After 3 nip and tuck rounds, it was a very close and neither camp could have argued with the decision. The judges went with the reigning champion and Itauma had to settle for the silver medal. Although Karol was upset as he quickly thrust onto the podium after this first loss in over 2 years, he can be proud of his achievement. He is now ranked number 2 in Europe under 19 and this is a massive achievement.
At a welcome home gathering the following evening, 17 year old Karol was already plotting his next move as he intends to work hard and hopefully he draws against the Russian in the World Youth championships in Hungary in August (they have both automatically qualified as finalists). The whole of St Marys are proud of what he has achieved so far and if he stays dedicated, who knows what the Chatham teenager could achieve in the future.
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