Shiva Thapa (60kg) inched one step closer to adding a record fourth medal from the Asian Boxing Championships by entering the pre-quarterfinals as 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) led six Indian boxers into the quarter-finals of this prestigious continental tournament in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday.
Thapa secured a thrilling 4-1 win over Korea’s Kim Wonho and is now a couple of wins away from a medal to add to the gold, bronze and silver that he won in 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions respectively. The Assam pugilist will next take on Kyrgyzstan’s Seitbek Uulu for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Lovlina Borgohain began her medal quest in thunderous fashion by out-punching Vietnam's Tran Thi Linh 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals. Up next on Monday for the 2019 Strandja Cup bronze medallist is a stiff challenge in the form of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin, the very girl she lost to in the semi-finals of the World Championships in New Delhi last year.
National champion Deepak (49kg) continued his good form with yet another commanding 5-0 win over Sri Lanka’s Mutunaka Pedi Gedara.
Winner of two King’s Cup medals in Thailand, Rohit Tokas (64kg) displayed his speed and alertness in his 5-0 thumping of Afghanistan’s Nooristani Mohammad Khaibar to enter the last-eight.
Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) brought his gold medal-winning form from the GeeBee Boxing Tournament to open with a commanding 5-0 victory over Japan’s Subaru Murata.
In contrast, Ashish Kumar (75kg) had to dig deep to hold off China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke 3-2 in a split verdict in an absorbing pre-quarterfinal contest.
21-year-old Manisha Moun (54kg) of Haryana made a promising start to her campaign with a unanimous 5-0 win over Vietnam’s Do Nha Uyen to enter the quarters.
The only loss of the day for the Indian contingent was in women’s 48kg where debutant Nitu succumbed to a 1-4 defeat to Taipei’s Pin Meng-Chieh.
Amit, Sarita Devi open campaign on Sunday
All eyes will be on Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) as he begins his challenge on Sunday against Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei.
Amit, likely to face reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the quarter-finals, has been oozing confidence as he began the 2019 season with a gold medal at the Strandja Cup Boxing Tournament.
Ashish (69kg) and Brijesh Yadav (81kg) too will be in action on Sunday.
On the women’s side, four-time Asian Championships gold medallist Sarita Devi (60kg) will start her hunt for her sixth medal from this tournament when she enters the ring against Korea’s Gwon Sujin.
Former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) too will seek her second international medal of the year after a gold at the Strandja Cup as she takes on Srey Pov Nao of Cambodia.
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