Asian Championships: Gold for Sanjeet; Panghal, Thapa endure close defeats
Sanjeet (91kg) fetched the lone gold among Indian men boxers with a stunning triumph over Kazakhstan's Olympic-medalist Vassiliy Levit even as defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg) and Shiva Thapa (64kg) settled for silver medals in the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Monday. Sanjeet triumphed 4-1 over Levit, who was chasing his fourth gold of the tournament. Here are more details.
This is now India's best-ever performance at the tournament
With 15 medals in this edition, India surpassed its previous best-ever show at this Championship, achieved in 2019, when the country secured 13 medals in all, including two gold. This time too, the country finished with two gold medals.
Panghal lost to known nemesis Shakhobidin Zoirov
Panghal lost 2-3 to known nemesis Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in what was a repeat of the 2019 world championship final, which had also ended in Zoirov's favor. India sought a review of the second round of the bout but the protest was rejected by the jury which stuck to the original decision.
Panghal-Zoirov put up an aggressive show from the start
The Panghal-Zoirov clash lived up to the hype with both the Olympic-bound boxers engaged in a fast exchange of punches from the very first round. Zoirov claimed the opening round. But in the second round, Panghal raised his game by a notch, evading Zoirov's range with his pace and landing his left straights precisely. Zoirov, on the other hand, struggled to connect.
Panghal fought tooth and nail in the third round
Both Panghal and Zoirov went all out in the third round but Panghal's game was more impressive due to his body shots despite an injured eye. He even had the judges' verdict in his favor for the round but it was not enough to alter the final score-line as Zoirov had the requisite scores thanks to the varied scoring across three rounds.
Thapa-Chinzorig clash was messy due to close-range punching
Like Panghal, Thapa (64kg) also lost by the same margin to Mongolia's Baatarsukh Chinzorig, the reigning Asian Games silver-medalist. This was Thapa's fifth successive podium finish and second silver at the showpiece. Thapa was equally impressive against Chinzorig, rallying brilliantly after losing the opening round. But he lost the all-important final round in a fight that became messy due to close-range punching.
Here are the medals won by the women
On Monday, Pooja Rani (75kg) was the lone woman boxer to strike gold, while six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), and tournament debutants Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) and Anupama (81+kg) won silver medals. Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Jasmine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg), and Varinder Singh (60kg)—secured bronze medals after semifinal losses.