Even before winning a medal, Indian boxers have already made a mark at the World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
After Vikash Malik (60kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) made it to the quarterfinals on Tuesday, the number of Indians in the medal round have gone up to five, thus making it the country’s best ever show at the worlds. Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) had already entered the quarterfinals on Monday.
“It is already a great show by our boxers and I hope this will continue and transform into medals,” said chief national coach GS Sandhu. “At the end, what matters is the medal. So, our best show will happen only when we take home more than one medal from here. In the last two editions of the worlds we had won a bronze each, so looking at the way the boys are fighting, for sure we will end up with the best-ever showing even in terms of medals,” Sandhu added.
Vikash, who is competing in the World Championship for the first time, was the first one to enter the quarterfinals on Tuesday. He got better of fifth-seed and former 2008 European Championships silver-medallist Miklos Varga. He will now face fourth-seeded Robson Conceicao of Brazil.
“He has the temperament and he is an aggressive boxer. You can expect anything from him. Never during the bout, it looked like he was playing at this level for the first time in his life,” Sandhu said.
Sangwan defeated seeded Siarhei Novikau of Belarus in a one-sided contest and heavyweight Satish Kumar defeated another Belarusian Yan Sudzilouski.
“Here everyone has given of their best. Even those who lost got a standing ovation for their effort. Manpreet lost to the world No 1 and he fought so well that even after he lost, the crowd left their seats for him,” Sandhu said.