With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics less than six months away, India’s hopes on their expected medal tally has kicked up a notch. Amateur boxer Amit Panghal has achieved a career milestone, reaching world no. 1 rank in International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Boxing Task Force list, and is the first boxer from his country to do so in the past decade.
Weighing in at 52 kgs, Amit Panghal clinched the top of the list with a stunning 420 points to his name. Last September, he made history as the first Indian boxer to win a silver medal in flyweight division at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
For the first time in 10 years, an Indian boxer has made it to the top spot, after the superstar Indian pugilist and Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh achieved the same back in 2009.
With the boxing qualifiers knocking on the door, Panghal is expected to swift through the qualification round to join hands with his fellow compatriots to inflate India’s medal hopes for the grand event in July.
In a recent interview with PTI, the 24 year old said the achievement is a confidence booster ahead of the qualifiers.
“It is a great feeling and obviously means a lot to me because it will help me in being seeded at the qualifiers. Being world no.1 also gives you a renewed sense of confidence,” Panghal told reporters.
The boxing qualifiers, to be held in March in Amman, Jordan, is Panghal’s last hurdle before Tokyo. However, the pugilist is nothing but positive to pass that test in the first round. “I hope to secure an Olympic spot in the first qualifier” he added.
Hailing from Rohtak, Panghal’s first international glory came 3 years ago at the 2017 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He won a bronze medal in light flyweight division.
Panghal secured two medals in 2018. His first international gold came at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he defeated Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he clinched a silver in the men’s 49 kg event final.
At the 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships hailed in Bangkok, the Haryanvi clinched his second international gold.