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Potkonen, Gustafsson take European boxing titles

Finnish boxers Mira Potkonen and Elina Gustafsson took gold in the European Championships on Tuesday.

Potkonen ja Gustafsson 12.7.18 asti
Mira Potkonen (left) and Elina Gustafsson. Image: Lehtikuva

Finnish boxers have taken two medals at the European Women's Boxing Championships in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, with Elina Gustafsson and Mira Potkonen winning their weight divisions.

In the lightweight division Potkonen took gold after winning her 48th fight in a row, with three judges out of five giving her a points decision against Russian Anastasia Belyakova. The title is sweet revenge for Potkonen, who was beaten by Belyakova in the world championships in 2016.

Elina Gustafsson was victorious via a split decision in the welterweight class, beating Yaroslava Yakushina in the final with four judges out of five marking her as the victor.

The 37-year-old Potkonen took Finland's only gold medal of the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, along with the bronze medal in that year's world championships. In the wake of her success she was granted a plot of land in her home town of Nokia, a traditional reward for success in Finnish sport.

This year's medals are Finland's first European titles in women's boxing, and the first amateur boxing championships since 1979 when Tarmo Uusivirta won the middleweight gold.

Both Gustafsson and Potkonen aim to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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