Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (49 kg) got a first-round bye and, hence, progressed to the quarter-finals of the 70th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Panghal, who is in pursuit of a second successive gold at the tournament, will be up against Ukraine’s Nazar Kurotchyn in the last-eight stage on Sunday. A win will assure him of a consecutive medal at the prestigious European event.
Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar (91 kg) was handed a bye into the pre-quarterfinals and he will face Poland’s Michal Soczynski in his opening bout on Saturday.
Among the women, last edition’s silver-medallist Meena Kumari Devi (54 kg) was given a direct entry into the quarter-finals, while Neeraj (60 kg) got into the pre-quarterfinals in the draws that came out Thursday.
World Championships bronze-medallist Gaurav Bidhuri (56 kg), who is returning to top-flight action after recovering from a back injury, will be up against local favourite Emanuil Bogoev in the opening round on Friday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gaurav Solanki (52 kg) will face American Abraham Perez in his opening bout.
Former Asian youth silver-medallist Ankush Dahiya (60 kg) will start his campaign against Azerbaijan’s Sarkhan Aliyev, while former CWG silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra will square off against Ukraine’s Viktor Petrov.
In the women’s draw, former world championships silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57 kg) will face Serbian Jelena Zekic in the first round, while former CWG bronze-medallist Pinki Rani (51 kg) will take on Filipino Irish Magno.
India had a best-ever haul of 11 medals in the 2018 edition of the tournament, including two golds.