Packing a punch are the boxers from India who have been in red-hot form in the ongoing Asian Boxing Championship. After securing four semi-final berths earlier, India has gone to assure themselves of nine more medals; the tally now stands at 13.
Strandja Cup gold medallist and former World Junior Champion, Nikhat Zareen (51 kg) made it to the semi-finals after knocking out former two-time World Champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan. Zareen dominated the show as she registered a 5-0 in a one-sided bout.
Shiva Thapa (60 kg) registered a win over Thailand's Rujakran Jurong. It was an uneven match-up as the local favourite had no answers to Thapa's aggressive punches.
Thapa has now become the first Indian boxer to win four consecutive medals in the Asian Boxing Championship. He previously won a gold medal in 2013, a bronze in 2015 and a silver in 2017.
While the colour of the medal from this edition is yet to be decided, he will be up against Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin in the semi-final clash. Safiullin won a silver medal in the 2015 edition of the event.
Kyrgyzstan's Omurbek Uulu Bekzhigit was no match for Ashish Kumar in the 75 kg category. National Games gold medallist, Kumar won the match 5-0 and booked a semi-final spot for himself.
Sarita Devi won a hard-fought contest over her opponent, Rimma Volossenko. A former World Champion, Devi has previously won four gold medals in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2010, along with a silver (2001) in the previous editions of the tournament.
The 37-year-old boxer has proved that age is just a number for her as she is on track to win her sixth medal in the Asian Championship.
In another one-sided contest, Ashish (69 kg) outplayed Vietnam’s Tran Duc Tho as he registered a 5-0 win.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Satish Kumar got the better of his Korean opponent, Dohyeon Kim. A split decision of 3-2 in his favour, has confirmed a second medal for Kumar, who a bronze medal in the 2015 edition.
23-year-old Simranjit Kaur, who won a gold medal in World Championships last year, defeated Vietnamese Ha Thi Ling 4-1. Debutant Manisha Moun (54 kg) proved to be too strong for her Philippine opponent, Petecio Nice Zzaa. The Haryana girl continued her strong run in the tournament as she registered another 5-0 win.
Naman Tanwar was knocked out of the tournament by the two-time Asian Championship bronze medallist, Hussein Lashaish of Jordan. Pak Un Sim of North Korea beat Nupur in the 75 kg category. The loss resulted in Nupur's eviction from the tournament.
The semi-final bouts will be conducted on April 25. Having reached the last four stage, Indian boxers would want to end their campaign on a high.
(Featured Image: FB/Boxing Federation of India)
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