Tokyo Olympics: Games glory at last for Yafai family, Khyzhniak knocked out

By Sports Desk August 07, 2021

Galal Yafai secured a first Olympic gold for his family with a points win in the men's flyweight final on Saturday.

Four of the judges scored the bout against Carlo Paalam narrowly in Yafai's favour at Kokugikan Arena to bring the Great Britain star Games joy at Tokyo 2020.

Yafai lost in the round of 16 at Rio 2016, while brother Kal fell at the same stage at Beijing 2008 and then failed to make weight for a box-off ahead of London 2012. Gamal, a third brother, is also a boxer.

It was a victory long in the making then, as Yafai said: "Whenever I do anything good it impacts [his brothers].

"We're a close-knit family, close-knit brothers and hopefully they can celebrate this with me too."

Yafai said winning a world title was "a million per cent" an aspiration, but he would not immediately commit to turning professional.

"I'll have a rest now," he said. "Obviously everyone wants to turn pro. I've been amateur for a long time, been to two Olympic Games, I'm Olympic champion now.

"I think it's a big thing that everyone wants to do, but I'm just going to have a rest at the minute and spend time with family and friends and just soak it all in."

BRUTAL END TO STUNNING UNBEATEN RUN

Hebert Sousa became the second Brazilian to win an Olympic gold in boxing after ending Oleksandr Khyzhniak's sensational undefeated streak in style.

Khyzhniak, one of the favourites in the middleweight event, had not lost in 62 amateur bouts going back to 2016.

But the Ukrainian was knocked out in the third round by Sousa, having been in control of the fight to that point.

"It was very difficult and I had to confront my opponent," Sousa said. "He's very, very powerful. I believed in our possibility and I trained to get the medal. I trained and trained."

MIXED FORTUNES IN TURKEY'S MEDAL FIGHTS

Saturday's two women's finals both brought unanimous decisions, with Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli winning the welterweight gold but compatriot Buse Naz Cakiroglu having to settle for silver in the fly.

Cakiroglu, in action first, had missed out on becoming Turkey's first boxing gold medallist as Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria triumphed.

That honour instead went to Surmeneli following her victory over China's Hong Gu.

Surmeneli said of the achievement: "I am really happy to get that. I am just a pioneer and this medal is for all Turkey. I hope to win more medals.

"This is hope for the Turkish girls and it is a sign that you should run for your dreams, you should do your best for your dreams."

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