Argentina’s Brian Arregui took the limelight and the welterweight title as the first four boxing gold medals of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 were decided on Wednesday 17 October.
The home fighter earned a unanimous 5-0 decision over Morocco’s Yassine Elouarz to claim an emotional victory.
“I’ve had to give up a lot: my friends, my family and my mother, who’s always supported me in everything I’ve done,” said the 18-year-old Arregui, who moved to the National Elite Sports Performance Centre (CeNARD) to train in January 2018.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he continued. “I never imagined anything like this happening. It’s not winning a medal that makes you a champion but working in the gym. The support of the fans was crucial in all three fights. They lifted me whenever I felt tired.”
En route to the final, the Argentinian twice beat Uzbekistan’s Jakhongir Rakhmonov, both times by 3-2 split decisions. He showed his class and power in the final, with four of the judges declaring him a 30-27 winner and the fifth scoring 29-28 in his favour.
In the bronze medal bout, Rakhmonov bounced back to earn a unanimous 5-0 win over Azerbaijan’s Nijat Hasanov.
The day began with Great Britain’s Ivan Price beating Thailand’s Sarawut Sukthet 5-0 to claim the men’s flyweight gold in some style. Brazil’s Luiz Chalot de Oliveira took the last place on the podium after defeating Ireland’s Dean Clancy by the same score.
In the men’s super heavy – the heaviest category of all – Russia’s Aleksei Dronov scored a unanimous points win over Kazakhstan’s Damir Toibay, while Egypt’s Ahmed Elsawy Awad Elbaz earned a 5-0 victory of his own to take the bronze from Canada’s Tethluach Chuol.
In the only women’s final of the opening session, Thailand’s Panpatchara Somnuek cruised to a 5-0 win over Mexico’s Jennifer Yazmin Carrillo Carrillo. Completing the podium was Ireland’s Dearbhla Rooney, a 5-0 victor also, against New Zealand’s Te Mania Rzeka Tai Shelford-Edmonds.