Gold gives confidence to Solanki, Hussamuddin shines

Solanki and Hussamuddin, who bagged gold and bronze medal respectively in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, underscored their form and fitness by securing top honours in 52kg and 56kg respectively.

Gaurav Solanki packed a punch to win the gold medal at the Chemistry Cup in Germany.   -  Y.B. Sarangi

Promising youngsters, Gaurav Solanki and Mohammed Hussamuddin led a pack of boxers who did well in the competitive Chemistry Cup in Germany to announce their preparedness for the Asian Games in Jakarta from August 18 to September 2.

Solanki and Hussamuddin, who bagged gold and bronze medal respectively in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, underscored their form and fitness by securing top honours in 52kg and 56kg respectively.

“The series of good performances of late is the outcome of years of hard work. Chemistry Cup is known as World Cup and is one of the major competitions in Europe. Lots of good boxers from Europe and Cuba were there.

“Such exposures enhance our experience and confidence,” Solanki, who has performed well in Youth Olympics, Youth Commonwealth Games and Asian Youth Games, told Sportstar on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Faridabad boxer, who honed his skills at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, said, “This is part of our preparations. This shows that you need to work harder to be successful in the Asian Games,” said Solanki, who pipped Cuban Jorge Alejandro 3-2 in the final to take the yellow metal.

Hussamuddin, a solid fighter, got motivated after claiming his first international gold medal at the elite level. “Such experiences help and provide confidence. The win over accomplished German boxer Hamshat Shadalov in the semifinal was satisfying. The support staff, including some young coaches, plays a big role,” said Hussamuddin.

Hussamuddin, hailing from a family of boxers in Nizamabad, defeated compatriot and former National champion Madan Lal in the final to win the gold medal.

Now, he wants to prove his worth by raising the bar further. “I have to toil more for the Asiad. I am good at counter-punching, but I have to work on my attack,” said Hussamuddin.

Madan Lal (56kg) got a silver, while Amit Panghal (49kg), Dheeraj (64kg) and Narender (+91kg) bagged bronze medals to help India finish well in the event.

Elsewhere in Mongolia, Mandeep Jangra beat local favourite Byamba-Otgonbaatar to earn the 69kg gold medal. Himanshu Sharma (49kg) and Etash Khan (56kg) and woman boxers Sonia Lather (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) landed silver medals as India gave a good account of its potential ahead of the Asian Games.