Last year’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani put up a brilliant display to lead seven more Indian boxers into the finals at the 13th South Asian Games on Sunday.
While Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg) and Narender (+91kg) were the others to reach the summit clash from the men, all the three women – Pinki Rani (51kg), Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) cruised into the finals.
With eight Indian boxers having already sealed their final places a day before, India will now have a total of 15 boxers aiming for the gold medal.
Krishan continued his comeback in style as he dominated the 69kg semi-final bout against Nepal’s Bikash Lama whom he trounced 5-0. Bangladesh’s Chakma Sura Krishna proved no match for Varinder Singh in 60kg as the latter easily pummeled him into submission, notching up a 5-0 win.
Sparsh Kumar (52kg) also impressed in his 5-0 over local hope Tej Bahadur Deuba. In the super heavyweight category, India had no trouble as Narender swatted aside the challenge of Sri Lanka’s Addurakaram Rallage Buwaneka Eranda 5-0.
Sachin Kumar was the only one from the Indian boxing contingent who failed to reach the final. Sachin suffered a cut in the first round of his 81kg bout against Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan and then bowed out 2-3 in a split verdict in a gritty contest.
Among the women, Pinki Rani dashed the hopes of Pakistan’s Aziz Razia Bano with a flurry of punches that gifted her a 5-0 win to enter the 51kg final. Both Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) were at their aggressive best and the referee had to stop the contest in the second round against Pakistan’s Mehreen and Perveen Rukhsana respectively.
The finals will be played over two days. India’s Kalaivani (48kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) in the women’s event and Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Sachin (56kg), Manish Kaushik (64kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg), and Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) in the men’s event would be in action on Monday.