Commonwealth Games: Nikhat reaches quarters; Thapa loses out

Nikhat Zareen beat Mozambique’s Helena Bagao in a women’s 50kg opening round contest, while Shiva Thapa lost to Scottish Worlds medallist Reese Lynch in the 63.5kg pre-quarterfinal bout

India’s Nikhat Zareen (left) and Mozambique’s Helena Ismael Bagao in action during their round of 16 fight

India’s Nikhat Zareen (left) and Mozambique’s Helena Ismael Bagao in action during their round of 16 fight | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Nikhat Zareen beat Mozambique’s Helena Bagao in a women’s 50kg opening round contest, while Shiva Thapa lost to Scottish Worlds medallist Reese Lynch in the 63.5kg pre-quarterfinal bout

World champion boxer Nikhat Zareen began her journey well by outpunching Mozambique’s Helena Bagao in a women’s 50kg opening round contest, while former Worlds bronze medallist Shiva Thapa lost to Scottish Worlds medallist Reese Lynch in a keenly-fought 63.5kg pre-quarterfinal bout in the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Nikhat, who won the 52kg world title in May, beat the lesser-known Helena by the referee stopping the contest in the third round. She will meet Wales’ Helen Jones, who has the experience of competing in the European under-22 and World championships, in the quarterfinals on August 3.

It was a walk in the park for Nikhat, who maintained a good distance and landed combinations on counterattacks to take the first round convincingly.

The Indian displayed more aggression and rained headshots in the next two rounds. Helena got a standing count before the referee stopped the contest in the final period.

Against a taller southpaw, Thapa moved in and out to score through some solid right punches and win the first round with a unanimous decision.

However, Lynch stepped up his attack to close the gap as the contest was evenly balanced after two rounds.

Lynch took the highly physical final round amid a heavy exchange of punches and ensured a 4-1 victory.

Asian champion Sanjeet Kumar was stunned as he won two rounds but ended up losing his 92kg bout to Samoan Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali with a 3-2 verdict on Saturday night.

Two judges each scored in favour of Sanjeet and Ato, while Sri Lankan Susantha Thennage's scores showed a 28-28 tie. Later, Susantha – who gave the first two rounds 10-9 to Sanjeet – ironically picked the Samoan to break the deadlock.

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