Road To The Olympic Games


Lone Canadian boxer Trupish drops opening-round bout

Adam Trupish, Canada's lone representative in boxing at the Beijing Games, was defeated in his opening-round, 69-kilogram bout on Sunday, falling to Bakhyt Sarsekbayev of Kazakhstan.

Adam Trupish, Canada's lone representative in boxing at the Beijing Games, was defeated in his opening-round, 69-kilogram welterweight bout on Sunday, falling to Bakhyt Sarsekbayev of Kazakhstan.

Sarsekbayev, the gold medal winner of the 2006 Asian Games, beat the native of Windsor, Ont., handily by a 20-1 decision at Workers' Gymnasium in Beijing.

The Kazakh knocked down Trupish in the first minute of the match and built a 10-0 lead through the first round. That lead ballooned to 17-0 after the second before three-time Canadian champion recorded his only point in the third round.

"It's kind of sad," said Trupish. "Me and my coach are pretty lonely soldiers here in the Olympic Village as far as boxing is concerned. We're asked 13 times a day 'Where are all the fighters?"

It was a second straight opening-round loss at the Olympics for Trupish, who dropped his first bout against Ruslan Khairov of Azerbaijan at the 2004 Athens Games.

While the result represents a low point for Canadian amateur boxing, Great Britain has showed a turnaround is possible.

Both British boxers on a team of eight sent to Beijing won on Sunday. Great Britain had just one fighter at the Athens Olympics.

Billy Joe Saunders of Britain, the 2007 Commonwealth Champion, advanced in his welterweight bout with a 14-3 win over Turkey's Adem Kilicci, who won bronze at last year's worlds in Chicago.

Saunders, 18, will move on to face Carlos Banteaux Suarez of Cuba, who received a first-round bye.

Reigning world champion Demetrius Andrade of Providence, R.I., received a stern test in his opener. The American won by an 11-9 score over Georgia's Kakhaber Jvania.

Silamu Hanati, also a bronze medallist at last year's world championships, cruised to a 21-4 win over Precious Makina of Zambia.

Russian wins in 64-kg class

In 64-kg light welterweight action on Sunday, Russian Gennady Kovalev earned a 15-8 decision over China's Qiong Maimaitituers.

Kovalev was a silver medallist at last year's world championship in Chicago, where he beat Bradley Saunders of Great Britain in the semifinals.

Saunders was very impressive on Sunday at Beijing, scoring a knockout in 84 seconds over Sam Kotey Neequaye of Ghana.

Javier Molina of Commerce, Calif., was the first American boxer eliminated from the Games. Boris Georgiev of Bulgaria was a 14-1 decision winner over the U.S. teenager.

Romania's Ionut Gheorghe is looking to improve on the bronze he won at the 2004 Athens Games. Gheorghe was a 21-4 victor over Jonathan Gonzalez Ortiz of Puerto Rico.

Richarno Colin of Mauritius advanced to the round of 16 by winning a 15-11 decision against Myke Carvalho of Brazil, the bronze medallist at the 2007 Pan Am Games.

Morroco's Driss Moussaid was impressive in his opening match, drubbing Australia's Todd Kidd 24-2. Moussaid beat reigning African champion Hastings Bwalya to qualify for the Beijing Games.

Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo of Cuba will face Moussaid in the next round after he routed Smaila Mahaman of Cameroon 15-1.

Ireland's Johnny Joyce was a 9-5 winner over Hungary's Gyula Kate, the bronze medallist at the European championships in 2006.

Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic disposed of Armenia's Eduard Hambardzumyan 11-4 to advance.

John Jackson of Virgin Islands won 4-2 over Mahamed Nurudzinau of Belarus. Jackson is the son of former pro champion Julian Jackson.

Other winners in the light welterweight class were Iran's Morteza Sepahvandi, Ionut Gheorghe of Romania, Ukrainian Olexandr Stretskyy, Toureano Johnson of the Bahamas, and Cameroon's Joseph Mulema.

Welterweights who also advanced Sunday included: Andrey Balanov of Russia, Dilshod Mahmudov of Uzbekistan, France's Jaoid Chiguer and Vitalie Grusac of Moldova.

With files from the Canadian Press