London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom (51kg) moved one step closer to qualifying for the mega quadrennial Games for a second time with a powerful performance in her opening bout at the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan on Sunday.
The six-time world champion, seeded second at this event, hardly put a foot wrong and sailed away to a commanding 5-0 victory over Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tasmyn Benny of New Zealand on her way to the quarter-finals, where she will face Irish Magno of Philippines.
With Mary Kom’s win, 11 Indian boxers have now entered the quarter-finals at this tournament.
Earlier, World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) recorded a gritty 3-2 win over Mongolia’s Enkhmanadakh Kharkhuu to enter the quarter-finals. Both Mary Kom and Panghal are now just one win away from realizing their Tokyo Olympic dream.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki (57kg), meanwhile, bowed out 1-4 to top seed and world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan in the second round after a spirited display.