Amit Panghal returns to Indian squad for last boxing Olympic qualifiers

New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal has returned to the Indian squad, which saw wholesale changes for the final Olympic qualifying event, set to to be held in Bangkok from May 25 to June 2.

After Indian boxers’ horrid run at the Olympic qualifiers in Italy last month, when not even one boxer could secure a quota, as many as five pugilists have lost their spot in the team for the second World Qualification Tournament.

The dismal show also led India’s High Performanc Director Bernard Dunne to step down from his post.

In the latest assessment, 2023 World Championships bronze medallist duo of Deepak Bhoria (51kg) and Mohammad Hussamudin (57kg), the six-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), reigning national champion Lakshya Chahar (80kg) and 2022 Commonwealth games bronze medallist Jaisimine Lamboria (60kg) have lost their spot in the Indian team.

The country’s lone men’s world championships silver medallist (2019) Panghal, who won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2024 Strandja Memorial tournament, will get his first and final chance to seal his passage to his second Olympic Games, having competed in the Tokyo edition.

He had lost out to Bhoria repeatedly in the assessment, hence missing out on the two qualifying events for the Paris Olympics — the Asian Games and the first World Olympic Qualifiers.

Another Strandja gold medallist and national champion Sachin Siwach (57kg) has also returned to the squad, replacing two-time CWG medallist Hussamudin. Sachin had also competed at the Asian Games last year.

Himachal Pradesh’s Abhinash Jamwal, who has dropped down from 67kg, scored more than the seasoned Shiva to earn a chance to compete in the light welterweight (63.5kg) category, while Abhimanyu Loura replaced Lakshya in 80kg.

Worlds bronze medallist Nishan Dev (71Kg), the lone boxer to go beyond his opening round in Italy, Sanjeet (92kg), and Hangzhou Asian Games bronze medallist Narender Berwal (+92kg) have retained their spots.

No male boxers from India has won a quota till now.

In the women’s category, Ankushita Boro, who failed to win a quota in the 66kg weight class in Itay has dropped to the 60kg category. She replaces Jaismine, whose performance has been disappointing at the international level.

Reigning national champion and two-time world junior medallist Arundhati Choudhary emerged as the top performer in the 66kg weight class.

India have secured four 2024 Olympic quota places so far with Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) clinching their places at the Asian Games last year.

India had nine boxers competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Squad: Men: Amit Panghal (51kg), Sachin Siwach Jr. (57kg), Abhinash Jamwal (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg), Abhimanyu Loura (80kg), Sanjeet (92kg), Narender Berwal (+92kg) Women: Ankushita Boro (60kg), Arundhati Choudhary (66kg).

Source: PTI News


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