Turkey first participated in the Olympic Games back in 1908, and in all that time, the nation never had produced a boxing gold medalist. Until now.
Busenaz Surmeneli didn’t have her best showing, but won the women’s welterweight gold medal over China’s Gu Hong in an ugly fight that never really found a rhythm. Judges had three cards for Surmeneli and two even, with Gu losing a point in the second round and also receiving a standing eight count in the same frame.
Gu mostly looked to spoil and hold here, trying to neutralize the usual aggression and constant attacks from Surmeneli, and to be honest, it did work to a degree. Gu won the first round on four cards, but her tactics earned her a real warning from the referee late in the round, which inspired Surmeneli to attack and saw her land a couple of good shots late.
The deduction came early in round two, and the standing eight was forced later in the round. Gu didn’t really change her approach too much, though she didn’t force another deduction. It was the worst fight either were involved in at the Olympics, particularly Surmeneli, who otherwise was a real joy to watch, and should still be considered a top contender for the women’s Val Barker Trophy.
The gold medal for Turkey also comes just about an hour after teammate Buse Naz Cakiroglu fell short against Bulgaria’s Sofya Krasteva in the women’s flyweight final.