India secure eight boxing quotas so far for Tokyo Games
Eight Indian boxers have sealed spot for the Tokyo Olympic Games slated to be played in July-August this year by entering the last-four stage of the ongoing Asian/Oceania Olympic Qualifiers.
On Monday, Simranjit Kaur (60 kg) had defeated Namuun Monkhor of Mongolia 5-0 to book her Tokyo Olympic spot by entering the semi-finals of the tournament. She will take on Shih-Yi Wu of Chinese Taipei for a place in the final.
London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom (51kg) secured her second appearance at the mega quadrennial Games with a flawless 5-0 win over Irish Magno of Philippines. She will now take on reigning Asian Games gold medallist Yuan Chang of China in her quest for a spot in the final of this event.
Before that, World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) had defeated Carlo Paalam of Philippines 4-1 to secure the sixth quota for India at the Tokyo Olympics by entering the semi-finals.
A"I had played my opponent twice and had beaten him as well. I came with a lot of confidence to get the win this time too. I executed whatever strategy my coaches had chalked out. I am glad that gave me the win as well as the Olympic quota. In the next round, I play a Chinese boxer whom I have beaten before at the Asian Championships. The aim is to repeat it and move into the final," said the Asian Games champion after his win.
He will next take on China's Hu Jianguan, a bronze medallist at the Rio Olympics as well as the 2019 Asian Championships.
The other Indian boxers who have sealed an Olympic quota so far are Asian Championships gold medallist Pooja Rani (75kg), two-time World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) Satish Kumar (+91kg).
World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg), meanwhile, went down 2-3 to third seed and Asian Games silver medallist Chinzorig Baatarsukh of Mongolia in a hard-fought quarter-final.
Kaushik can still fulfil his Olympic dream as with 6 boxers qualifying from 63kg, he will get once more chance with a box-off opportunity, where the losing quarterfinalist players will have yet another shot.
In his quest, Manish will face Harrison Garside of Australia in the box-off bout on 11th and a win there will secure his Olympic quota.
Sachin Kumar (81kg) who lost his quarter-final match will also get another chance with a box-off opportunity. IANS