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Posted at: Apr 23, 2019, 7:48 AM; last updated: Apr 23, 2019, 7:48 AM (IST)

Indian athletes corner Asian glory

Boxers Kavinder, Panghal beat world champs, assure 2 medals

Bangkok, April 22

Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) upstaged reigning world champion Kairat Yeraliyev, while Amit Panghal (52kg) edged past familiar foe and Olympics champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, assuring themselves of medals at the Asian Boxing Championships.

Bisht clinched a split verdict over Kazakhstan’s Yeraliyev in a gripping contest, while Sonia Chahal (57kg) advanced to the last-4 of the women’s draw by registering a win over Korea’s Jo Son Hwa. Also, national champion Deepak Singh (49kg) progressed albeit through a walkover as Afghanistan’s Ramish Rahmani pulled out owing to an injury.

Hard-fought win

Panghal, who claimed the bronze in the 2015 edition of the event, secured a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over Dusmatov, the former world champion he defeated to claim the Asian Games gold just a few months ago. Before that, the two boxers had also clashed in the World Championships quarters where the Uzbek had emerged triumphant. Panghal and Dusmatov had the crowd on its feet with an engrossing showdown. 

The Armyman from India dominated the opening round with powerful uppercuts and jabs. Dusmatov came back strongly and was quite impressive in the second round but the resolute effort was not enough to find favour with the judges. 

However, World Championships bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) bowed out of contention after a quarterfinals loss to reigning world champion Chen Nien-Chin of Taiwan.

Tremendous grit

The highlight of the morning session was the show put up by Bisht, winner of the gold at the GeeBee Tournament in Finland, as he displayed tremendous grit against a tough opponent. Yeraliyev succeeded in drawing the Indian into a trap in the opening three minutes of the bout but Bisht fought back hard in the next two rounds. The Indian fought mostly with a shell guard and managed to thwart Yeraliyev’s relentless attacks.

By the second round, the Kazakh, a two-time bronze-medallist at the continental event and a bronze-winner at last year’s Asian Games, dropped his guard. Although Yeraliyev seemed the quicker of the two, Bisht was managing to get under his skin quite comfortably.

Sonia wins

Sonia also endured an exhausting bout against Hwa but eventually won. The fast-rising boxer from Haryana struck some clean jabs in her thrilling win.

However, it was deja vu for Borgohain as she took on a rival who had defeated her in November at the New Delhi World Championships semifinals. The stage was different but the result was the same as Chen dominated the bout from start to finish for a 5-0 triumph. — PTI

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