Strandja Memorial: Manoj and two other Indians advance

Manoj Kumar was among three Indian boxers who won their opening bouts at the 68th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Manoj Kumar defeated Robert Chamasanyan.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar was among three Indian boxers who won their opening bouts on another bitter-sweet day for the country at the 68th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Manoj, who got a first-round bye, defeated local favourite Robert Chamasanyan in his maiden international bout since jumping weight divisions from light welterweight (64kg) to welterweight (69kg). He will face Mauritian Merven Clair in the quarterfinals.

Also advancing to the next round were Amit Phangal (49kg) and Thomas Meitei Mayenbam (64kg). While Amit defeated Armenia’s Gaspar Babakhanyan, Thomas got the better of Poland’s Lukasz Neimczyk. Amit will be up against Kazakh Erzhan Zhomart in the quarterfinals while Thomas, who did not get a bye in the first round, will fight it out with Bulgarian Airin Ismetov for a quarterfinal spot.

However, it was curtains for Satish Kumar (+91kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg). Satish went down to Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Konkabayev. Manish, on the other hand, was beaten by Italian Federico Antonaci.