Taiwan boxing champ vows to defend title
Taiwanese boxer Chen Nien-chin, who has kept up an impressive streak of wins since 2013, vowed Tuesday to defend her title in the upcoming biennial International Boxing Association (AIBA) Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championships in Taiwan.
“I hope I can win another gold medal for Taiwan,” said Chen, who won the 75-kilogram weight category title at the 2013 championships in Bulgaria.
“The pressure is enormous this time, but I am very happy because we are the home team,” Chen said.
“It is not easy to gather so many of the world’s top boxers here because Taiwan is a very small country.”
The 2015 AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championships will be held May 14-24 in New Taipei’s Xinzhuang District. It will be the first time Taiwan has hosted an international boxing championship. Boxers from over 40 countries, including 15 from Taiwan, are expected to participate.
At a press conference in Taipei Tuesday, AIBA President Wu Ching- kuo, who is from Taiwan, said that 40 years ago, boxing enjoyed popularity in Taiwan, but the appeal later waned.
Over the past eight years in which he has served as AIBA president, boxing has achieved a high level of development in many countries, Wu said.
“Now is a good opportunity. We cannot miss this train,” he said. “I believe the championships will boost the development of boxing in Taiwan.”
Wu praised Chen as an athlete with “great potential” and said the tournament in May could serve as a good warm-up for Chen before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
For Chen, her eyes are also set on the 2016 Olympics.
“My goal is to qualify for the Olympics and stand on the Olympic stage,” Chen said.
Since few boxers can match her skills in Taiwan, Chen trains abroad and competes against international athletes.
To prepare for the May championships, Chen recently traveled to Germany to compete in the Queen’s Women’s Youth & Junior Cup, where she took the title in the 75-kg weight category.
She also won a silver medal in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and a bronze medal at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria last year.
Chen’s coach Ko Wen- ming describes the boxer as “gutsy and daring” and said she performs well under stress and adapts to international tournaments better than most of her peers in Taiwan.
On April 27, a competition will be held in Taiwan to select potential Olympic boxers, Ko said, adding that he believes Taiwan has a chance of winning medals in the 51-kg and 75-kg categories in the 2016 Olympic women’s boxing.
Meanwhile, Ho Jow-fei, directorgeneral of the Sports Administration, said boxers like Chen have laid a good foundation for Taiwan.
“We definitely have a shot at the Olympic Games next year,” he said, adding that the government will pay for Chen’s overseas training and help her find the best possible coach.