Ashish Kumar clinches gold as India pick up eight medals at Thailand Open
Asian Championships silver medallist Ashish Kumar (75 kg) put up a dominant display to collect his first international gold medal as Indian boxers finished their campaign with a rich haul of eight medals that included one gold, four silver and three bronze at the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament 2019 in Bangkok on Saturday.
The Indian contingent’s efforts were commendable considering some of the world’s best boxers from 37 countries had participated in this tournament to test themselves ahead of the World Championships later in the year.
On the final day, the Indians who had to settle for the silver are former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen (51 kg), Asian Championships silver medallist Deepak (49 kg), GeeBee Boxing silver medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56 kg), and India Open silver medallist Brijesh Yadav (81 kg).
Ashish Kumar was in impeccable form and thoroughly outpunched Korea’s Kim Jinjae 5-0 for the biggest medal of his career two months after claiming a silver medal at the India Open.
Strandja Cup gold medallist Nikhat, who pocketed a bronze at the Asian Championships as well as the India Open, faced a tough opponent in Asian Games gold medallist Chang Yuan. The Chinese proved too strong as she dealt the Telangana pugilist a 5-0 blow.
In 56 kg, reigning India Open champion Chatchai Decha Butdee of Thailand continued his fine form to inflict a 5-0 defeat on Hussamuddin while Uzbekistan’s Mirzakhmedov Nodirjon proved a tall order for Deepak in 49 kg.
In 81 kg, Brijesh Yadav gave his all but was edged 1-4 by Thailand’s Anawat Thongkratok amidst some vociferous support for the home hope.
Earlier, Strandja Cup silver medallist Manju Rani (48 kg) failed to breach the barrier of Thailand’s former World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat and had to be content with the bronze.
Ashish (69 kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75 kg) are the others who brought bronze for India. While Ashish succumbed to a 1-4 defeat to Thailand’s former Asian Games champion Wuttichai Masuk, Bhagyabati Kachari was outplayed 5-0 by China’s Rio Olympic bronze medallist Li Qian.