Historical Laura Fuertes: first Spanish boxer in a Games

the asturian Laura Fuertes (Gijón, 1999) continues to break down barriers in Spanish women’s boxing with a hook. If last year she became the first national boxer to win a world medal (bronze in Istanbul), this time Laura has gone one step further and, At just 23 years old, she is the first Spanish boxer in history to win a place in the Olympic Games. With her victory this Wednesday on points, by unanimous decision, over the Portuguese Rita De Pinho, Laura had a triple prize: a pass to the semifinals in -50kg at the European Games in Krakow (Poland), an insured medal and a ticket to Paris 2024. José Quiles, classified today, will also be at the Olympic event.

Fuertes, who beat the Danish Sofie Rosshaug by split decision in the round of 16, completed a very intelligent fight, in which she nullified all the virtues of an impotent De Pinho. Once the judges’ decision was announced, Laura could not hold back her tears. She was aware of having made history for Spanish sport. At the fourth Olympic edition (women’s boxing debuted in London 2012), there will finally be a national boxer.

“I already have the dream ticket and I am very happy to make history for Spanish boxing, both before in World Cups and now representing my country in the Olympics. Only the work team knows what we have fought for this, ”said the woman from Gijón after her historic victory. In the semifinals, Laura will fight on Friday against the French Wassila Lkhadiri (18:15), world bronze this year in New Delhi.

Laura will not be alone in the Olympic Games, because This Wednesday José Quiles also certified his classification. The one from Elda, who was already in Tokyo 2020 (he was 17th), will repeat the Olympic experience after getting into the -57gk semifinals. For it, Quiles beat Georgian Artyush Gomtsyan, reigning European champion, on points by split decision. Everything was decided in a last round to which three judges arrived with the matched card.

The scare was morrocotudo when they took a point from the Spaniard with less than five seconds to go. Luckily for Quiles it did not influence the final result, in which three judges opted to give him victory. It did not sit well with Gomtsyan, who was already celebrating the victory and ended up kicking himself with his bandages. Quiles, oblivious to the Georgian’s anger, celebrated the pass to the semifinals and the Olympic qualification with his team. Already with the medal assured, the Spaniard will fight on Friday against the Belgian Vasile Usturoi (19:45).

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“We have achieved it, after so much suffering the goal is near, but we are not going to stop until we get an Olympic medal. We don’t stop now”said the eldish after his triumph. Fuertes and Quiles gave the third and fourth, respectively, place in Paris 2024 for a Spanish athlete in these European Games after the classifications achieved by Miguel Alvariño and Elia Canales in mixed recurve archery and by Laura Heredia in modern pentathlon.

Jennifer stays one step away and ‘The Prophet’ secures a medal

And it was very close to being an even more historic Wednesday for Spanish women’s boxing, as Jennifer Fernández was one step away from obtaining the Olympic ticket. The woman from Granada was eliminated in the -57kg quarterfinals by the Italian Irma Testa, bronze in Tokyo 2020 and world champion, who prevailed on points and by unanimous decision to qualify for the Olympic Games that was in game. The Catalan Martín Molina also stayed in the quarterfinals and on the verge of a medal (although the place for Paris was obtained by reaching the final)., who lost in -51kg against the Turkish Samet Gumus by a unanimous decision that raised controversy. He will have to seek the qualification in the Pre-Olympic to be held in 2024. And there was no luck for Ayoub Ghadfa either, who lost in the +92kg quarterfinals against the German Nelvie Tiafack by split decision in a very even fight.

These troubles were alleviated by ‘The Prophet’. Enmanuel Reyes Pla easily beat the German Chris Okafor by unanimous decision to reach the -92kg semifinals and secure the metal. A life insurance for the Spanish delegation, Enmanuel is one more victory away from certifying his presence in Paris 2024. If he beats the Irishman Jack Marley on Friday (4:00 p.m.), he will ensure, in addition to a pass to the final, the Olympic ticket .

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