Asian silver-medallist Ashish Kumar (75 kg) and veteran Satish kumar (+91 kg) booked their places in the Indian men’s boxing squad for next year’s Olympic qualifiers, while comeback man Vikas Krishan (69 kg) advanced to the finals on the opening day of the trials on Sunday.
Ashish Kumar defeated reigning national champion and South Asian Games gold-medallist Ankit Khatana in a unanimous verdict to be assured of a spot in the squad for the Asia/Oceania zone qualifiers in China, scheduled from February 3 to 14.
Satish, a Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist, booked his berth with a split verdict triumph over Narender. Joining the two was Sachin Kumar, who claimed the 81 kg spot with a victory over Brijesh Yadav.
The 81 kg division was to feature Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan too but he has been suspended for a year after failing a dope test.
In other results, Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan, who quit the professional circuit after an injury breakdown earlier this year, moved into the final with a unanimous win over Ashish Kulheria. The recently-crowned South Asian Games champion will face Duryodhan Negi in the final on Monday. Negi defeated Naveen Boora in a split decision.
Another CWG gold-winner Gaurav Solanki (57 kg) also advanced to the final by getting the better of Kavinder Singh Bisht, an Asian silver-medallist and a world quarter-finalist.
Next up for Solanki is Mohammed Hussamuddin, a CWG bronze-medallist, who edged past former youth world champion Sachin Siwach. Siwach had won a gold at the South Asian Games earlier this month.
In the 91 kg category, Naveen Kumar won his preliminary bout against Gaurav Chauhan in a split decision to set up a final clash with CWG bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar.
Amit Panghal (52 kg) and Manish Kaushik (63 kg) have already claimed their place in the team after winning medals at the world championships in September. While Panghal claimed a pathbreaking silver, Kaushik brought home a bronze, fulfilling the criteria for selection set by the Boxing Federation of India.
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