India assured of seven medals at Asian Boxing Championships
(Sourced from PTI)
A crucial test of preparations for Olympic-bound boxers, the Asian Championships get underway in Dubai on Monday with India already assured of podium finishes after seven women boxers entered the semi-finals due to the small size of their respective draws. The total women's participation in this edition of the Championships is 47 boxers across 10 weight categories.
Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), seeded top in her category, defending champion Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg), Saweety (81kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), and Monika (48kg) made the last-four stage when draws were unveiled on Sunday. In all, 19 Indian boxers, nine men and ten women, will stake their claim for the top honors and unprecedented prize money this time.
A total of six Indian male boxers, including defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg), got first-round byes into the quarterfinals. From the Olympic-qualified group, Amit Panghal (52kg), last edition's silver-winner Ashish Kumar (75kg), and past medallist Vikas Krishan (69kg) will be the ones spearheading the men's challenge. Also closely watched would be four-time medalist Shiva Thapa (64kg) eyeing a fifth successive podium finish.
The Indian men squad includes Amit Panghal (52kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (56kg), Varinder Singh (60kg), Shiva Thapa (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg) and Narender (+91kg). The women squad includes MC Mary Kom (51kg), Monika (48kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg).
A total of 27 countries were expected to participate but that shrunk to 17 on Sunday due to COVID-19-forced travel restrictions. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are among those in contention. The tournament, which was originally planned in India but shifted to Dubai, announced a prize fund of $400,000. It will award $10,000 to gold winners, $5,000 to silver-medallist, and $2,500 each to both bronze-medallists.