Ukrainian kickboxer Lena “Hunter” Ovchynnikova and Dutch Muay Thai champ Lorena “Lady Pitbull” Klijn are the latest additions to the 2012 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup tournament roster. The one-night eight-woman grand prix is set to take place on August 25th at Yamano Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Ovchynnikova and Klijn join two-time Girls S-Cup champion Rena Kubota, 2011 winner Erika Kamimura and South Korean standout Seo Hee Ham in the tournament. The event also features the finals of the inaugural 53.5 Girls S-Cup and the final two rounds of the JKS48 high school girls’ tournament.
This year’s edition of the Girls S-Cup once again features competitors from all over the world. Kubota (17-5-1 KB/SB) reigned supreme in the inaugural tournament in 2009 and repeated that feat in 2010. This past year, a scaled-down Asia-only Girls S-Cup was won by Kamimura (25-2-0 KB/SB). Kubota did not compete in the 2011 tournament, but she did score a victory in non-tournament action on the card. She looks to become a three-time champion later this month. Ham (2-1-0 SB) advanced to the finals of last year’s Girls S-Cup before falling to Kamimura in the final fight.
Ovchynnikova and Klijn will both try to become the first non-Japanese fighter to win the prestigious Girls S-Cup tournament. The remaining three competitors have not yet been announced, but the full roster will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Also on the August card, top prospect Mizuki Inoue (3-1-0 SB) faces Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi (12-3-0 SB) for a second time in the finals of the 2012 Shoot Boxing 53.5 Girls S-Cup. The four-woman 53.5kg tournament began in April when Inoue defeated Mina to move on to the final round. Takahashi defeated Rio Kamikaze in her semi-final bout in June. Inoue, who turns 18 on August 19th, upset Takahashi via Unanimous Decision when the two first faced off in February. A second win over the veteran would earn Inoue the 53.5kg tournament title.
Lastly, this year’s Girls S-Cup card also features the final two rounds in the JKS48 high school girls’ tournament. Kubota’s protégé, Mio Tsumura, is one of four semi-finalists. The 17-year-old Tsumura (5-0-0 SB) is seen as a favourite to become the JKS48 tournament champion. The remaining semi-finalists are Nako Otsuka, Akari “Eneos” Nakamura and Yusa Tachi. The semi-final matchups are expected to be determined shortly before the event and the tournament winner must defeat two opponents in one night.
The 2012 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup takes place on August 25th at Yamano Hall in the Yoyogi district of Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
Go Yamamoto contributed to this report.