World youth bronze medallist Bishwamitra Chongtham exhibited his gifted game to beat another up-and-coming talent Zoram Muana in the 51kg final. Following the victory, he won his maiden title in the National boxing championships on the Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University campus here on Friday.
Bishwamitra’s fine showing helped him record a 5-0 win over his rival from Mizoram and celebrate his 19th birthday a day in advance. Related to legendary woman boxer Sarita Devi, the diminutive Bishwamitra, hailing from Manipur and representing Services, relied on his smooth footwork and superb ring craft to move in and out of an attacking Zoram’s grasp and land some well-directed punches.
Zoram, a product of the Sports Authority of India’s Aizawl centre, executed some impressive combinations before bowing out with his head held high. He was adjudged the ‘Best Challenger.’
“It’s good to get the gold on my debut. The level of competition at an elite event is higher. I learnt a lot,” said Bishwamitra.
Double Commonwealth Games medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin carried on his fine form to ward off taller Sachin Siwach’s strong challenge in a highly physical duel and regain the 57kg gold medal. It was Hussamuddin’s third National title.
Govind Sahani (48kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg) and Sumit Kundu (75kg) retained their crowns, while Varinder Singh (60kg) overcame a series of health issues to pick up a hat-trick of gold medals. Punjab boxer Kartik (86kg) gave a power-packed performance to take the 86kg gold. He became the ‘Best Boxer.’
Sachin Siwach Junior (54kg), who returned to action following appendicitis surgery, also secured his first gold medal.
Local lad Abhimanyu Loura, the 80kg champion, was named the ‘Most Promising Boxer.’
Services won the team title. It was followed by Railways and Punjab.