World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (64kg) and senior pugilist Vikas Krishan (69kg) made it to the semi-finals on the first day of boxing event at the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu on Friday.

National Champion Ankit Khatana (75kg) was the third Indian to progress to the last four as he knocked out local boy Deepak Shrestha in the first round of his bout.

Kaushik thoroughly dominated his quarter-final bout against Pakistan’s Suleman Baloch to register a commanding 5-0 victory. In the 69 kg quarter-final, Krishan marked his return to amateur circuit after a gap of 15 months with a superb performance against Bhutan’s Dorji Tshering in a unanimous verdict.

Among women, Sonia Lather (57 kg) had an easy outing against Bangladesh’s Shamima Akter as she won via RSC in the third round.

Young boxer S Kalaivani displayed her attacking prowess right from the word go, landing a series of attacking punches on Pakistan’s Rabia Batool as the referee was forced to stop the contest as early as the first round.

Seven male boxers: Vinod (49kg), Sparsh (52kg), Sachin (57kg), Varinder (60kg), Sachin (81kg), Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) and Narender (+91kg) and four women boxers: Pinki Rani (51kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) are already in the semi-finals, thus ensuring India atleast 16 medals.

The semi-final bouts will be played on December 7 and 8 followed by finals on December 9.