Weaver and Yafai lead medal charge at Euros in Moscow
By Ben Dirs
Great Britain's Iain Weaver and Khalid Yafai reached the semi-finals of the European Championships on Tuesday, guaranteeing themselves a medal.
Featherweight Weaver beat Oualid Belaoura of France 12-7, while flyweight Yafai romped home against Derenik Gizhlaryan of Armenia 9-1.
Light-heavyweight Obed Mbwakongo lost to Frenchman Abdelkader Bouhenia, with four more Brits competing on Wednesday.
Britain's best post-War showing in the event was four medals in 1961.
Bournemouth's Weaver, 20, is experiencing a stellar year, having already won silver at the prestigious Prime Ministry tournament in Turkey in April and gold at the Commonwealth Federation tournament in Delhi in March.
It is Weaver's first year with the elite 'podium' squad, but performance director Robert McCracken has been vindicated in picking him ahead of Luke Campbell in the 57kg category, despite Campbell winning gold as a bantamweight in 2008.
Birmingham's Yafai, who competed for Great Britain at the Beijing Games, gave a disciplined and controlled display in his quarter-final.
He will now fight for a final place on his 21st birthday on Friday against German Ronny Beblik, who controversially denied him a World Championship medal in Milan last year.
"I have been dying to get my revenge against Beblik ever since and now I am going to get my chance," said Yafai.
"I feel like a much more mature fighter these days and I'm so happy with my form.
"The whole team has been doing brilliantly out here and a lot of that is due to Robert McCracken who has done so well for us as coach."
London's Mbwakongo, 21, was level at 7-7 going into the last round but was narrowly defeated 11-9.
There will be high hopes for Liverpool lightweight Tom Stalker when he fights Latvian southpaw Artjoms Ramlavs on Wednesday. Stalker, 25, beat Italy's world champion Domenico Valentino on Monday to reach the quarter-finals.
Khalid's younger brother Gamal, Tommy Stubbs and Andrew Selby are Britain's other quarter-finalists.
Bantamweight Gamal and light-flyweight Stubbs face Irish opposition, with Gamal fighting John Joe Nevin and Stubbs fighting Belfast's Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes.
The last time Britain won more than two medals at the Euros was in 1975, when future world champion Charlie Magri was one of three men to win a bronze.