All Bulgarian boxers may return as medallists from the European Championship, Marin Dimitrov, president of the Bulgarian Boxing Federation (BBF), said this week.
The statement came at a news conference in Sofia in connection with the European Amateur Boxing Championship to be held in Perm, Russia from today until July 21.
Senior trainer of the Bulgarian national team Angel Angelov, however, was more cautious. "I would restrain from tempting fate, although Dimitar Shtilianov and Alexander Vladimirov, medallists from the 2001 World Championship in Belfast, as well as Boris Georgiev, Bulgaria's first-rated boxer, have real chances for a medal.
"I would not like to talk of medals, we are just setting out for Perm in a good mood and the intention to furnish a decent performance. And the medals will come."
Angelov said the Bulgarian boxers have just had a successful week in Ukraine, where for six days they sparred with Ukrainian boxers. "This was a proof-check in a competitive environment, the sparrings being more difficult than a regular match," he said. "More rounds were played, with heavier gloves, etc."
CEO of the Bulgarian Boxing Federation Andrey Doichev regretted that this year's holder of the Strandzha Cup, Kubrat Kolev (91kg category), would not participate in Perm after breaking his arm sparring. "To me this was a tragedy," Doichev said. "Pulev could have taken the European title in Perm."
The premiums from the State Agency for Youth and Sports (SAYS) stand at 6,000 leva for a gold, 3,000 leva for a silver and 2,000 leva for a bronze medal. Dimitrov told the news conference that the federation would disburse the same awards as SAYS, the only difference being the compensation for the bronze medal - 1,000 leva. Therefore, a champion in Perm would get 12,000 leva, silver medal holder - 6,000 leva and the bronze medallist - 3,000 leva.
The Bulgarian team is as follows: Salim Salimov of Omurtag (48kg); Alexander Vladimirov of CSKA (51kg); Detelin Dalakliev of CSKA (60kg); Boris Georgiev of Slavia (63.5kg); Dimitar Shtilianov of Botev Plovdiv (67kg), Spas Genov of Pobeda Bourgas (75kg), David Manukian of Botev Plovdiv, senior coach; Petar Lesov and Yordan Stoyanov, coaches; Hristo Vassilev, medical personnel. Ivelin Ivanov from Dobrich will be the Bulgarian referee at the championship.
The programme begins with preliminary matches and quarterfinals scheduled to take place between today and July 17. On July 18 and 19 are the semifinals, followed by a one-day rest. The finals are on Sunday, July 21.
To date, Bulgaria has won 86 medals from European amateur boxing championships - 18 gold, 25 silver and 43 bronze. The best Bulgarian performer has been Ivailo Marinov of Cherno More Varna in the 48kg category with a total of four gold medals. Serafim Todorov has reached the European peak three times, while Petar Lesov, Emil Chuprenski and Daniel Petrov have provided one less.
Marinov, who is also a world record holder from Munchen 1982, an Olympic champion from Seoul 1988, and a holder of the World Cup from Montreal 1981, was picked Bulgaria's No. 1 Boxer of the 20th century in a survey of the Bulgarian Association of Boxing Journalists.
Bulgarian National Televisi-on will be one of the three foreign TV stations to air the European Boxing Champion-ship in Perm. The other two countries are Romania and Turkey, while the championship will be aired in Russia by the private 7 TV.
BNT kicks off their programme with the quarterfinals on July 17 (one-hour coverage). The semifinals will be broadcast on July 18 and 19. On Sunday, July 21, BNT will air the finals live.
Co-operation and synergy between the police, sports organisations, regulatory agencies and the community in general is vital if we want to prevent sport from losing its true meaning and value, Ronald Noble said.
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