World Championships silver medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg) asserted her dominance with a commanding 5-0 victory over Vietnam’s Do Nha Uyan to enter the quarter-finals of the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok on Friday.
Four other Indian boxers made a winning start on what was a flawless opening day for India. Makran Cup gold medallist Deepak (49kg) completely outclassed Vietnam’s Loi Bui Cong Danh in a unanimous 5-0 win to assure his round of 16 berth.
In 64kg, Rohit Tokas, winner of two King’s Cup bronze medals in Thailand, put up a smart defensive strategy to knock out Taiwan’s Chu-En Lai with a similar 5-0 scoreline to advance to the pre-quarters.
Ashish (69kg) too began his challenge in an equally impressive fashion, blanking Cameron’s VY Sophors 5-0 to reach the pre-quarters while Asian Games bronze medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) thumped Iman Ramezanpourdelavar of Iran by a flawless 5-0 score to make his way into the last-eight.
On Saturday, three-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa will begin his quest for a fourth medal against Korea’s Kim Wonho. Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) will begin their campaigns after a first round bye while Deepak and Rohit Tokas will continue their medal hunt.
On the women’s side, debutant Nitu (48kg) will look to make an impact at this prestigious continental event and so will young Manisha in the 54kg. In women’s welterweight, Indian hopes will rest on Lovlina Borgohain who will face off against Tran Thi Lin of Vietnam.
After seven successful editions, the women’s competition will be held simultaneously as the men at the Asian Championships for the very first time.
In the last edition, the Indian women grabbed a total of seven medals that included one gold, one silver and five bronze.