Reigning champions Nitu and Sakshi along with Anamika and Manisha on Wednesday booked their place in the final of the youth boxing championships at Budapest.
Of the ten girls competing in the event, eight of them managed to make it to the semi-finals in a record-breaking feat. The first one to make the final cut was Nitu, who defeated the hard-punching Anel Kudaibergen of Kazakshtan in the light fly category (45-48 kg), getting a 3:2 split verdict from the five judges.
Nitu held a slender advantage, which she held on to until the bell rang. The tenacious Nitu made it to a successive final, and will take on Thailand’s Nillada Meekoon.
Anamika, on the other hand, proved too hot to handle for her Thai rival Kittiya Nampai in flyweight class (51 kg) as the Indian out-punched round after round to emerge a clear winner on points (5:0).
Anamika, who will clash with highly-rated American boxer Heaven Garcia in the gold medal showdown, was severe against the Thai. Anamika, with an open guard, invited her opponent but Nampai was content not to get knockout verdict.
Sakshi, too, had an easy semi-final bout in the featherweight class of 57 kg against Isamary Aquino of USA. Both pugilists were taking their own time to trade off punches.
With a few jabs and hooks, Sakshi tried to open the American’s close guard and even landed a couple of punches, including an uppercut which gave her points and with that, a substantial lead. The Indian decided to go all out and added to her points tally before the final bell and won the bout 5:0. She will meet Nikolina Cacic of Croatia in the final.
In the adjacent B ring, Manisha crossed swords with Veronika Villas of Hungary, a promising boxer. Despite the local crowd rooting for the Hungrian, the Indian brushed aside the pressure and landed some combination punches to wrap the bout with a 4:1 verdict in her favour. The Asian Youth Champion will take on Gemma Paige Richardson from England in the final.
Earlier Astha Pahwa was defeated by Tallya Brillaux, who won on points (5:0). Jony, too, lost her lightweight (60 kg) bout to Nune Asatrian with a similar 5:0 verdict, settling for a bronze medal.
The verdicts against Sakshi Umesh in light heavy (81) and Neha Yadav in heavy (+81) was no different as the Indians logged no points on the scoreboard during the entire duration of their bouts. Both their opponents walked away with a 5:0 win. On Tuesday, Bhavesh Kattimani (53 Kg) and Ankit (60 kg) had ended with bronze medals after losing in the semi-finals in the men’s category.