Five-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa and Amit Panghal secured their places in the Indian men’s boxing team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games alongside six other pugilists after registering victories in the finals of the trials at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala on Thursday.
In the three-day event that saw boxers fighting it out in eight categories for a place in the 2022 CWG, scheduled to take place in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, seasoned boxer Thapa outpunched 2018 CWG silver medallist Manish Kaushik 5-0 to clinch his spot in the 63.5kg category.
Meanwhile, 2019 World championship silver medallist, Panghal defeated Services boxer Deepak by a split 4-1 decision in the 51kg division to secure himself a spot in the quadrennial event.
Other six Indian pugilists who also emerged victorious on the final day of the trials to secure their places in the Indian contingent for the Birmingham event were: 2018 bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg), Rohit Tokas (67kg), reigning national champion Sumit (75kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg), Sanjeet (92kg) and Sagar (+92kg).
The 2015 World Championships bronze medallist Thapa put pressure on the Manish right from the beginning before completing a comfortable win while on the other hand, Panghal and Deepak fought fiercely throughout the bout, exchanging blows from close range but the former prevailed in the end utilising his experience.
In the 57kg category, Hussamuddin exhibited brilliant display of clean and technical boxing to claim a 4-1 win against the 2019 Asian Championship silver medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht, while Railways boxer Rohit got the better of Uttar Pradesh’s Aditya Pratap Yadav by a narrow 3-2 win in a closely-fought welterweight contest.
Another highlight of the day was Sagar, who pulled off a gutsy show against the reigning national champion Narender in the +92kg final. Sagar had an impressive run in the event which also included him stunning the Tokyo Olympics quarter-finalist Satish Kumar in the Last-4 stage.
Starting the bout confidently, Sagar employed an aggressive instinct from the start and kept piling up pressure on his opponent throughout the bout before securing a commanding 5-0 win.
Meanwhile, Sanjeet notched up a 4-1 win against Naveen Kumar in the 92kg category.
It was a one-way show in rest of the bouts as Sumit and Ashish both produced dominating performances in the respective finals to win by identical 5-0 margins.
Indian boxers had finished second in the 2018 CWG, securing nine medals, including three gold and as many silver and bronze medals. The women’s trials for the Birmingham Games will be held next week at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.