Indian boxers make strong start; Sonia, Manisha in quarters
Sonia Lather (57kg), the 2016 World Championships silver medallist, and Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg) led the charge in the women’s section.
Indian boxers made a strong start to their campaign at the India Open with seven of them entering the quarter-finals on the opening day of the competition in Guwahati on Monday.
Sonia Lather (57kg), the 2016 World Championships silver medallist, and Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg) led the charge in the women’s section. Sonia proved too strong for Nepal’s Chandra Kala Thapa and won by unanimous decision. Manisha, who has moved up to 57kg which is an Olympics category, notched up a 4-1 win over Nesthy Alcayde Petecio of the Philippines.
In 60kg, Preeti Beniwal defeated Nepal’s Sangita Sunar 5-0. Among the rising stars, Jyoti put up a spirited display in her 4-1 win over Irish Ardiente Magno of the Philippines while Anamika got the better of Filipino Claudine Decena Veloso (Referee Stopped Contest).
Shashi Chopra, the youth world champion in 57kg, made a seamless transition to 60kg with a 5-0 win over Tandin Choden of Bhutan.
In the men’s competition, Thailand’s two-time Olympian and former Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee asserted his supremacy in 56kg with a 5-0 victory over Nepal’s Surendra Rai.
Former world youth champion Sachin Siwach (52kg) gave India a bright start. Having won a bronze in the GeeBee Boxing tournament, the tall Siwach used his height advantage and hit a flurry of punches to secure a flawless 5-0 win over Argentina’s Ramon Nicanor Quiroga.
As many as 10 Indian boxers have already confirmed a medal each with six in men and four in women entering the semi-finals straightaway because of the smaller size of the draw.
Mary Kom to begin campaign
Six-time world champion Mary Kom will begin her campaign on Tuesday. Mary, who has shifted to 51kg with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics, will face Mala Rai of Nepal in her opening bout. As per the draw, Mary Kom may have a possible semi-final face-off with Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen, who will meet another Indian Anamika in her first round.
Mary, who won her sixth World Championships title last year in 48kg, had missed the Asian Championships in Bangkok.
“We have at least a couple of Indian boxers in each category and the competition is very close. It will be a very interesting tournament and the exposure for the boxers will stand them in good stead ahead of the World Championships,” said India’s women’s team performance director, Raffaele Bergamasco.
Women: Sonia Lather (57kg) def Chandra Kala Thapa (Nepal) 5-0; Manisha (57kg) def Nesthy Alcayde Petecio (Philippines) 4-1; Jyoti (51kg) def Irish Ardiente Magno (Philippines) 4-1; Anamika (51kg) def Claudine Decena Veloso (Philippines) RSC (Round 3); Shashi Chopra (60kg) def Tandin Choden (Bhutan) 5-0; Preeti Beniwal (60kg) def Sangita Sunar (Nepal) 5-0
Men: Sachin (52kg) def Ramon Nicanor Quiroga (Argentina) 5-0; Chatchai Decha Butdee (56kg) (Thailand) def Surendra Rai (Nepal) 5-0.