Suranjoy Singh gave India its first Asian Championship gold in 15 years while Thokchom Nanao Singh and Jai Bhagwan settled for silver medals as the country’s boxers rounded off a 27-year-best performance in the elite event in Zhuhai, China today.
India ended their campaign with a gold, two silver and four bronze medals, which went to Jitender Kumar (54kg), Vijender Singh (75kg), Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Paramjit Samota (+91kg). The team was placed third in the overall standings behind hosts China and Uzbekistan.
The performance this time is a marked improvement from 1982 championships held in Seoul where the country’s boxers notched up two gold, an equal number of silver and a bronze medal.
The last gold medal for India in the Asian Championship came in the 1994 edition in Tehran where Rajkumar Sangwan finished on top in the super heavy weight category.
And today, it was a fly weight (51kg) boxer who broke the 15-year jinx. Suranjoy, a junior World Championship bronze medallist in 2004, beat Li Chao of China 9-8 in a thrilling encounter.
“It was certainly not one of my best performances because my opponent came very close to upstaging me but I am thrilled to win India’s first gold medal here in 15 years,” an elated Suranjoy told PTI.