By Cain Bradley
The most notable name is Mira Potkonen (Finland) who will be famous to many for knocking out Katie Taylor at the 2016 Olympics. She won a bronze in 2016, adding to two world championship bronze medals. She is also a double european champion and won at the 2019 European Games. Now 40, this is almost definitely her last shot at the Olympics and she would have been one of the boxers affected badly by the year delay. She likes to move forward and is good at timing her punches but can often get scrappy. She has been incredibly active throughout the Olympic cycle though but only qualified through the ranking system after she was defeated by Caroline Dubois (Great Britain). The younger sister of Daniel Dubois, the British heavyweight, is only 20 but only has two career losses. The southpaw is impressive defensively with lovely movement. She puts her straight punches together well, timing the opponents. She dominated at the youth level, winning everything that she possibly could. She is the headliner of a number of young European boxers. Donjeta Sadiku(Kosovo) was the 2015 Junior World Championship silver medal. Only 22, she missed out on competing in the 2018 World Championship due to not being granted a visa in India. Another 22 year old is Naomie Yumba Therese (Congo). A tall fighter she has quick hands, often finding a home for her straight left from the southpaw stance. Also a southpaw, Rebecca Nicoli (Italy) is only 21 and won silver at the 2019 European under-22 Championship. She is a short boxer who looks to come forward.
Another impressive boxer as a youth was Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) who won the Youth World Championship in 2013 and has since been incredibly active, including reaching the 2018 World Championship quarter finals. She times her punches very well, mainly looking to counter opponents. It was Oh Yeon-Ji (South Korea) who defeated her and won bronze. She was the Asian champion in 2017 and mainly fights on the backfoot where she can use her quick movement. Simranjat Kaur (India) also won bronze at the 2018 World Championship, up at Light Welterweight before taking silver at the 2019 Asian Championships. She is a busy boxer who is never in a bad bout and has good power. She is one of three woman to have medalled up at Light Welterweight. Sudaporn Seesondee (Thailand) won bronze at the 2014 World Championship but her banner year at Lightweight came in 2018, winning silver in both the Asian Championships and World Championships. A southpaw who is constantly moving, her favourite combination is the one-two. Kellie Harrington (Ireland) competed in the higher division whilst Katie Taylor was the Irish representative. She was the World Championship silver medalist in 2016, but back down to Lightweight in 2018 she took gold. Harrington also has European medals but has found herself coming up on the losing side against longtime rival Potkonen many times. A tall boxer, she keeps her lead hand low and will look to pick opponents off.
Harrington defeated Dubois in the European qualification tournament final, having beat Esra Yildiz (Turkey) in the round before. Another with an impressive youth career, she also won the European Championship bronze in 2016. Hands held low, Yildiz is another who likes to pick her punches, capable of moving forward or backwards but never at a particularly high pace.
Arguably the most notable professional taking their spot in Tokyo is Maiva Hamadouche (France). She won silver at the 2019 European Championship and is a 22-1 professional who has held the IBF title since 2016. Always looking to come forward, she can find herself getting scrappy. Wu Shih-Yi (Taiwan) is another continental silver medalist, in the 2019 Asian Championship. She is tall and lean, keeping her hands low. The other Asian contender is Raykhona Kodirova (Uzbekistan). Kodirova is a southpaw but struggles at the top level. The reigning world champion is Beatriz Ferreira (Brazil). She is in great form having already won the Strandja Memorial and Cologne World Cup this season. A short boxer she is constantly moving forward she puts combinations together really nicely, varying the punches.
The other medalist from the 2019 World Championship is Rashida Ellis (United States). Another who has won a tournament this year, the Boxam Tournament. A boxer with a smile, she likes to be unpredictable looking to hit and move, often counter punching. She’s also a bronze medalist from the 2019 Pan-American Games. Another bronze medalist from that tournament was Esmeralda Falcon (Mexico) who has been struck down with Covid-19 and will be the first female Mexican boxer to compete in the boxing. A short stocky southpaw, she is good at timing her punches. Maria Palacios (Ecuador) will also compete but has lost every step up she has faced, losing in the 2019 World Championship round of sixteen. She is better offensively than defensively, often getting caught. Imane Khelif (Algeria) won the African qualification tournament, upsetting the number one seed. She is a tall boxer with nice movement who looks to pick off opponents. In the final of that tournament she defeated Mariem Homrani (Tunisia). She is an aggressive fighter who punches with power, upsetting two seeded fighters to make the final of the qualification tournament.
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