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Boxing World qualifiers: Nishant seals Paris Olympic quota; Panghal, Sachin Siwach stay in hunt (2nd Ld)

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Boxing World qualifiers: Nishant seals Paris Olympic quota; Panghal, Sachin Siwach stay in hunt (2nd Ld)

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Nishant Dev became the fourth Indian and first male boxer to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics after he convincingly got the better of Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari 5:0 to reach the semifinals of the 71kg category at the Boxing World Qualifiers at Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday. While Nishant Dev secured his berth, two other boxers, Sachin Siwach and Amit Panghal, are a win away from an Olympic quota.

Siwach defeated France’s Samuel Kistohurry 4-1 in the 57kg quarterfinals while 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Panghal packed off Inkyu Kim of South Korea 5:0 to reach the Round of 8 in the 51kg weight category and kept their qualifying hopes alive.

India has already secured three quotas for the Paris Games with Nikhat Zareen (women’s 50kg), Preeti (54kg), and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) confirming their berths by winning medals at the 2022 Asian Games and had sent 10 boxers to Thailand to add to the list.

And Dev, who had missed out on the Paris Olympic berth in the 1st Qualifier in Italy after going down to 2021 world championships silver medallist Omari Jones of USA at the same stage, was the first to achieve that goal.

The 23-year-old was determined not to lose out this time around as he took control of Round 1 with a combination of a right-hand jab and a left-handed hook. Cebotari did put up a fight in the Round 2 and 3 but the experience of Nishant shone bright as he mixed caution with aggression and landed a few hooks and uppercuts to earn a unanimous verdict.

In the evening session, Panghal came out all guns blazing to humble Kim in all three rounds while Sachin continued to put up a resolute show to reach the semifinals. However, with only three quota places on offer in the 57kg weight category, he needs to win one more bout to seal his Paris berth.

Ankushita Boro ousted

However, it was the end of the road for former world youth champion Ankushita Boro in the 60kg quarterfinals as she was unlucky to go down 3:2 against Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson while Arundhati Chaudhary also suffered the same fate when she lost to her 66kg pre-quarterfinal bout against Jessica Triebelova of Slovakia 1:4.

Boro was slow off the blocks and that allowed her Swedish opponent to take control. But the Indian fought back in Round 2 and looked on course to reverse the deficit as she earned a 4:1 verdict for the round. She continued to attack the Swede in the final round but Alexiusson landed a few punches of her own at the right time to convince three of the five judges to rule in her favour.

Sanjeet also failed to make it to the quarterfinals after his efforts were not enough to get the better of Azerbaijan’s Loren Berto Alfonso in the 92kg pre-quarterfinals.


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