Former world youth champion Sachin and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sagar entered the quarter-finals on day three of the ongoing 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday.
Sachin (57kg) was up against Uzbekistan’s Fayzov Khudoynazar in the pre-quarters and both the boxers came out with an attacking intent but it was Fayzov who took a slight advantage in the first round.
Sachin looked transformed in the second round and initiated a comeback by using his quick reflexes to dodge multiple attacks before landing some accurate jabs.
In the third round, he was at his attacking best, leaving his opponent clueless with his sharp punches and quick movements, ultimately grabbing a phenomenal 3-2 win to enter the quarter-finals. He will now face Kapanadze Giorgi of Georgia on Friday to secure a place in the semifinals.
Sagar (92+kg) faced Lithuania’s Jazeviciius Jonas in the pre-quarters. The Indian pugilist looked completely in control of the game from the get-go as he put up a scintillating attacking display, making his way into the quarterfinals with a 5-0 unanimous decision win. Sagar will now take on Zokirov Jakhongir of Uzbekistan on Thursday.
Vanshaj (63.5kg) went down fighting in a close contest against Iran’s Habibinezhad Ali. Both the boxers were cautious in their approach and were looking to capitalize on counterattacks. Vanshaj had his moments of domination but eventually, the final verdict came against him as he lost the bout 2-3 to end his campaign.
Late on Monday, Arundhati Choudhary (66kg) made her way into the quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over France’s Sonvico Emilie. She will now face Matovic Milena of Serbia on Thursday. Manisha (60kg), on the other hand, went down 2-3 against Zidani Amina of France in the pre-quarters.
On Wednesday, five Indian pugilists will kick off their campaign in their respective pre-quarter bouts. Amit Panghal (51kg) will be in action against Rudyk Maksym of Ukraine, Akash (71kg) will take on Traore Makan of France and Deepak (75kg) will face Asankul Uulu Sultan of Kyrgyzstan,
Abhimanyu Loura (80kg) and Naveen Kumar (92kg) will go up against France’s Monny Raphael and Voisnarovic Darius of Lithuania, respectively.
The Strandja Memorial Tournament is one of Europe’s oldest international sports competitions and is witnessing the participation of over 300 pugilists from 30 countries.