Tough first round for Team Canada at the 2018 Strandja Tournament
Regrouping a total of 236 world-class boxers, the 69th International Boxing Tournament "Strandja 18" kicked off on February 19th and all three Canadian boxers were scheduled to step into the ring during the first two days of competition. Although the Canadian delegation cumulated defeats during the preliminary round of the tournament, it was a great experience for the team as they will now shift their preparation towards important competitions, the Canadian Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Here's a recap of our boxers' performance in Bulgaria:
91 Kg Bryan Colwell
Bryan was the first Canadian to make his debut in the competition, which was also his first participation in an International tournament as part of Team Canada. For his first bout, the Canadian pugilist was opposing local boxer Ivan Mechkov. Despite giving his all in the ring, Bryan lost a 4-1 split decision to the Bulgarian boxer.
"It is not the result I was looking for in my first foray into international competition, but it is still an incredible experience. My opponent was a talented fighter and I was honoured to share the ring with him. I know when we meet again the result will be different. I have had a ton of fun and learned a lot with this trip. I look forward to getting home and getting back to work with my coaches and teammates to improve my boxing." said Bryan after his defeat.
Bryan will now focus on getting ready for the 2018 Canadian Championships taking place in Edmonton, Alberta March 27 - April 1.
57 Kg Sabrina Aubin
Ranked 22nd in the world, Sabrina stepped into the ring on the second day of competition against Lacramiora Lenuta Perijoc from Roumania. However, despite a great preparation prior to the tournament, she was unable to claim the victory and lost a unanimous decision to her opponent.
"On my part, I gave a great fight where I applied elements I had worked on in the gym. I take back a lot of positive points from this bout and a few points to work on naturally. My opponent had a lot of experience, but less techniques. She was physical and aggressive while keeping a good distance. It's the volume of punches she gave that made the difference in the outcome. I was more technical and clean, but less active when working on the inside. Overall, this bout gives me a clear picture of the things I need to work on!" said Sabrina after her bout.
Sabrina will now focus on putting the final touches on her preparation for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia taking place April 4 - 15.
75 Kg Tammara Thibeault
Tammara was the last Canadian to enter the tournament after a tough draw, where she was scheduled to face Li Quian from China (ranked 3rd in the world) during her first bout. Indeed, the Chinese boxer won Bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as Silver at the 2014 World Championships. Ranked 17th in the world after winning the 2017 Continental Championships, Tammara had her work cut out ahead of the fight and lost a 4-0 decision to her opponent.
"Despite a difficult draw, I offered a great performance and lost a split decision to an excellent boxer. It was a difficult bout; I gave my all and I am proud of the obstacles I had to overcome in the ring. I started off strong in the first round and I dominated. The second round was closer and in the final round, I was missing a little something. This bout is exactly what I needed to advance my boxing career. I've learned a lot and I've rediscovered a pleasure I hadn't felt in a long time after exiting the ring." said Tammara Thibeault. "My teammates Sabrina and Bryan also performed very well and everyone had tough opponents. It was a extremely tough tournament with world-class boxers and despite the defeats, we gave everything we had in the ring."
Tammara will also shift her focus to her preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.