Seven Indian boxers qualified for the finals of the IBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships in La Nucia, Spain, on Thursday.
Vanshaj (63.5kg), Vishwanath Suresh and Ashish (54kg) ensured an all-win record for India in the men’s semifinals. Among Indian women, Kirti (+81kg), Bhawna Sharma (48kg), Devika Ghorpade (52kg) and Ravina (63kg) progressed to the final.
Asian Youth champion Vishwanath claimed a 4-1 win over Juanma Lopez of Puerto Rico, while Vanshaj, also an Asian Youth champion, beat USA’s Deshawn Crocklem 3-2. Ashish beat Uzbekistan’s Khujanazar Nortojiev in another thrilling semifinal contest.
Comfortable wins for women
India’s women boxers who qualified for the final, on the other hand, registered comfortable wins against their opponents except Kirti, who won against Kazakhstan’s Assel Toktassyn.
Ravina and Bhawna outpunched their Kazakh opponents — Assem Tanatar and Gulnaz Buribayeva — and won by unanimous decisions. Maharashtra girl Devika got the better of USA’s Aameedah Joy with a 4-1 margin.
Four other Indian women in action on Thursday — Tamanna (50kg), Kunjarani Devi Thongam (60kg), Muskan (75kg) and Lashu Yadav (70kg) — signed off with bronze medals, losing their semifinal bouts.
Indian boxers have reasserted their supremacy at the prestigious championships as 11 out of 17 quarterfinalists went on to win medals — the highest for any country in the ongoing event. Uzbekistan is second with 10 confirmed medals, while Ireland and Kazakhstan are both joint third with seven medals each.
India’s dominance in the women’s section is another highlight of the tournament. Eight Indian women pugilists have secured medals — the most for any country. Kazakhstan, with five medals, and Uzbekistan, with four medals, are second and third, respectively.
Bhawna, Devika and all of India’s three male boxers making it to the final will fight for the gold medal on Friday. The others will play their finals on Saturday.