The seasoned Shiva Thapa (60kg) inched a step closer to adding a record-breaking fourth medal from the Asian Boxing Championships by entering the pre-quarter-finals on Saturday.
World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Makran Cup gold medallist Deepak (49kg) made it to the last-eight in Bangkok
Thapa secured a thrilling 4-1 win over Korea’s Kim Won-ho and is now a couple of wins away from a medal to add to the gold, bronze and silver that he won in 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions respectively. The Assam pugilist will now take on Kyrgyzstan’s Seitbek Uulu M for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Lovlina Borgohain began her medal quest in thunderous fashion by outpunching Vietnam’s Tran Thi Linh 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals.
On Monday, she faces a stiff challenge against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin, against whom she lost to in the semi-finals of the World Championships in New Delhi last year.
National champion Deepak continued his good form with yet another commanding 5-0 win. He defeated Sri Lanka’s Mutunaka Pedi Gedara. Meanwhile, Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) brought his gold medal-winning form from the GeeBee boxing tournament to open with a commanding 5-0 victory over Japan’s Subaru Murata.
In contrast, Ashish Kumar (75kg) had to dig deep to beat China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke in a 3-2 split verdict in an absorbing pre-quarter-final contest. 21-year-old Manisha Moun (54kg) of Haryana made a promising start to her campaign with a unanimous 5-0 win over Vietnam’s Do Nha Uyen to enter the quarter-finals.
The only loss of the day for the Indian contingent was in women’s 48kg where debutant Nitu succumbed to a 1-4 defeat to Taipei’s Pin Meng-Chieh.
All eyes will be on Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) as he begins his challenge on Sunday against Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei.
Panghal, likely to face reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals, has been oozing confidence as he began the 2019 season with a gold medal at the Strandja Cup Boxing Tournament.
Ashish (69 kg) and Brijesh Yadav (81kg) too will be in action on Sunday. Among women, four-time Asian Championships gold medallist Sarita Devi (60kg) will begin the quest for her sixth medal from this tournament when she enters the ring against Korea’s Gwon Sujin.
Former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) too will seek her second international medal of the year as she takes on Srey Pov Nao of Cambodia.