Asian Championships silver medallist Ashish Kumar on Saturday bagged his first international gold as Indian boxers finished their campaign with a rich haul of eight medals at Thailand Open International tournament in Bangkok.
India finished with a gold, four silver and three bronze. The Indian contingent’s performance was commendable, considering some of the world’s best boxers from 37 countries had participated in the tournament.
On the final day, the Indians who took silver were former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg), Asian Championships silver medallist Deepak (49kg), GeeBee Boxing silver medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), and India Open silver medallist Brijesh Yadav (81kg).
Ashish (75kg) was in impeccable form and outpunched Korea’s Kim Jinjae 5-0 for the biggest win of his career, just two months after claiming a silver in the India Open. Strandja Cup gold medallist Zareen, who pocketed a bronze from the Asian Championships as well as the India Open, faced a tough opponent in Asian Games gold medallist Chang Yuan.
The Chinese was too strong for Zareen, who was defeated 0-5. In 56kg, reigning India Open champion Chatchai Decha Butdee of Thailand continued his fine form to inflict a 5-0 defeat on Hussamuddin while Uzbekistan’s Mirzakhmedov Nodirjon got the better of Deepak in 49kg.
In 81kg, Brijesh Yadav’s best efforts were not enough against Thailand’s Anawat Thongkratok and was defeated 1:4 by a split-decision verdict.
Earlier, Strandja Cup silver medallist Manju Rani (48kg) failed to get past Thailand’s former World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat and took the bronze medal.
Ashish (69kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg) are the others bronze medallists. While Ashish succumbed to a 1-4 defeat to Thailand’s former Asian Games champion Wuttichai Masuk, Kachari was outplayed 0-5 by China’s Rio Olympic bronze medallist Li Qian.