World championships medallists Amit Panghal (51kg), Akash Kumar (57kg) and Vikas Krishan (80kg) lived up to their billing to make it to the shortlist of boxers for the Asian Games, an Olympic qualifying event for Paris 2024.
In the trials held at Patiala, the three reached the finals of their respective weight divisions to be eligible for the last stage of the selection – where a boxer per weight class will be picked for the continental event after three weeks of assessment and evaluation by the coaches.
While Amit stuck to his old weight, comeback men Akash and Vikas jumped to heavier categories for the Asian Games. Akash took his Worlds bronze in 54kg, while Vikas participated in the Tokyo Olympics in 69kg in 2021.
Asian championships bronze medallist Sumit Kundu, who came down from 75 to 71kg, former Asian champion Sanjeet (92kg) and Olympian Satish Kumar (+92kg) also cleared the trials stage.
Boxers competing in last month’s Tashkent World championships, including Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg), Naveen Kumar (92kg) and Narender Berwal (+92kg), were exempted from the trials.
Mohammad Hussamuddin, who bagged a Worlds bronze in 57kg, was ruled out after his left knee surgery owing to an ACL tear during a quarterfinal bout in Tashkent.
A box-off between the losing semifinalists, Rohit Mor and Sachin Siwach, on June 15 will find Hussamuddin’s replacement.
According to a team source, Worlds bronze medallist Manish Kaushik, who could not take part in the trials due to illness, will face Vijay Kumar, who did not get a fight, for the third boxer’s slot in 63.5kg.
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