Olympic-bound Indian boxers Satish Kumar (+91kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) entered the semi-finals of the 35th Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain with impressive victories.
Sumit Sangwan (81kg) also advanced to the last four after a 4-1 triumph over Mohor El Ziad of Belgium.
Satish, the first super heavyweight from the country to qualify for the Olympics, defeated Denmark’s Givskov Nielsen 5-0 in his last-eight bout late on Thursday.
Asian silver-winner Ashish, on the other hand, got the better of Italy’s Remo Salvatti in a split 4-1 verdict to make the medal rounds.
With this the Indian representation in the semi-finals touched 10 – six men and four women.
Earlier on Thursday, Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) and the Tokyo-bound duo of Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) advanced to the medal rounds.
However, world number one Amit Panghal (52kg) bowed out with a stunning loss to European Games gold-medallist Gabriel Escobar.
Among the women, six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg), Asian champion Pooja Rani (75kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and debutant Jasmine (57kg) are in the last-four stage.
Boxers from 17 countries, including Russia, USA, Italy, and Kazakhstan are participating in the event.
Vikas Krishan Yadav outpunched the 2012 London Olympic Games bronze medallist Vicenzo Mangiacapre to progress into the men’s 69kg semi-finals on the third day.
The Commonwealth Games champion Vikas, who has already secured a berth for his third Olympics in Tokyo, got rid of Italian Mangiacapre in a 3-2 split decision. Apart from Vikas, five more Indian men boxers registered victories in their respective quarter-final bouts to assure India six medals in men’s category at the 35th edition of the tournament.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammed Husamuddin notched up a 5-0 win against Italy’s Simone Spada in the 57kg while, World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik, who’s making return in the ring after a year, managed 4-1 win against Safiullin Zakir of Kazakhstan. 2019 Asian Championship silver medallist Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) also made their way into the semi-finals with 4-1 wins in their respective matches.
While Kumar beat Italy’s Remo Salvatti, Sangwan won against Belgium’s Ziad El Mohor. Satish Kumar, the first Indian boxer to qualify in +91kg at Olympics, is the other Indian to advance into the semi-finals. He outclassed Denmark’s Morten Givskov Nielson 5-0.
Meanwhile, World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) suffered defeats in their respective last-8 bout. Panghal went down fighting 3-2 against local favourite and European Games champion Gabriel Escobar. Sanjeet lost to Italy’s Matteo Girolamo 3-2.
With 10 medals already confirmed, India’s four women and six men pugilists will look to seal themselves a place in the gold medal match as they will play their semi-finals late in the night on Friday. In the women’s category, Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom (51kg), Jasmine (57kg), Simranjit (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) will be seen in action while all six men boxers, who won on the third day, will play their respective last-four clash late on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)