Boxers Amit Panghal, Jaismine clinch Paris Olympics quotas

Bangkok, Jun 2 (PTI) World championships silver medallist boxer Amit Panghal and national champion Jaismine Lamboria qualified for the Paris Olympics with contrasting quarterfinal wins at the 2nd World Qualification Tournament here on Sunday.

Panghal’s comeback to the Indian team culminated in the fifth Olympic quota in boxing as the multiple-time Asian Championships medallist notched a hard-fought 5-0 win over China’s Chuang Liu for a ticket to his second Games.

Jaismine, who dropped down from 60kg, then reclaimed the women’s 57kg quota for the country, which India had to be surrender after holder Parveen Hooda was suspended for whereabout failure last month.

Jaismine out-punched Marine Camara of Mali in a rather lop-sided quarterfinals.

Panghal and Jaismine thus join the quartet of Nishant Dev (71kg), Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) in booking Olympic berths.

Panghal had only one shot at making the Paris Olympics and the 2018 Asian Games champion made the most of his opportunity.

The going has been tough for Panghal as he lost his place in the national team on the basis of BFI’s evaluation system to world championship bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria, who competed at the earlier two qualifying events.

Since the Tokyo Olympics, the only big-ticket event that the Haryana boxer has competed in was the Commonwealth Games in 2022, where he won the gold medal.

He also emerged victorious at the prestigious Strandja Memorial tournament earlier this year.

The quarterfinal bout began on a rather sedate note with both boxers trying to assess each other. One minute into the bout, Liu went after Panghal. At a height disadvantage, the Indian struggled to find his range, and he did manage to land a couple of scoring shots but didn’t engage much.

Trailing 1-4, Panghal, a three-time Asian Championship medallist, changed his strategy. He went on the offensive, beginning the second round on a positive note.

The Chinese boxer retaliated by launching some counterattacking blows but Panghal continued with his punches and ended the round on a high, forcing all five judges to rule in his favour.

In the last three minutes, Liu changed his game and moved closer to Panghal. It was an energy sapping affair as both boxers traded punches, going hammer and tongs at each other. In the end, the former world number one prevailed.

Later in the day, Sachin Siwach will compete in the 57kg box-off for an Olympic quota.

Source: PTI News


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