The reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen(50 Kg) progressed to the semi-finals of the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Thursday, February 8. The Indian champ defeated France’s Lkhadiri Wassila in the first quarter-final with a unanimous decision of 5-0.
The Strandja Memorial Tournament is one of Europe’s oldest international sports competitions with over 300 participants from 30 countries.
Nikhat Zareen’s dominance in quarters
though the scoreline depicts complete dominance, Nikhat Zareen had to swat it out the the French boxer. The first two bouts went neck and neck as both the boxers tried to gain control over the opponent. However, Nikhat succeded in maintaining a lead and clinched both bouts.
In the third round, Nikhat looked at her best as she dodged Lkhadiri’s attacks efficiently while delivering some quality blows. The French boxer tried to make a comeback with an aggressive approach, but Nikhat was better equipped to deal with it and won the bout. Nikhat now awaits a tough challenge as she is set to face home favorite Zlatislava Chukanova in the semifinals on Saturday.
Arundhati races to semis, while Sakshi sufferers a defeat
In the other match of the day, national champion Arundhati (66kg) dominated Matovic Milena of Serbia in a 5-0 win. Arundhati displayed sheer dominance over her opponent and produced several attacks, breaking the shackles of the waiting game. She continued her aggressive game style in every bout and eventually took the match quite comfortably.
On the other hand, Sakshi(57kg) faced a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Uzbekistan’s Mamajonova Khumorabonu, leading to her exit in the quarters. Sakshi was never given an opportunity by the opponent and she did fail to make a comeback into the match. Though Sakshi won the third bout, it was too late as the match slipped from her hands.
Men’s boxers will be in action tonight
In the men’s event, Jugnoo (86kg), Sagar (+92kg), and Naveen (92kg) will be in action tonight in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Jugnoo will be up against Uzbekistan’s Djalolov Samandar, Sagar will face Zokirov Jakhongir while Naveen is set to face Kuttybekov Abzal of Kazakhstan.
On Wednesday, Deepak (75kg) and Naveen Kumar (92kg) entered the quarter-finals with identical 5-0 unanimous decision wins in the quarters.
Further, seven Indian pugilists are set to compete in the quarter-finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament on Friday. Amit Panghal (51kg) takes on Darkhishig Battulga of Mongolia, while Lalit (54kg) is up against Uzbekistan’s Nortojiev Khujanazar. Sachin (57kg) faces Kapanadze Giorgi of Georgia, while Rajat (67kg) will be up against Ukraine’s Matiakubov Bozorboi.
Akash (71kg) will meet Mckeever Eugene of Ireland, and Deepak (75kg) is set to face Ummatalievu Javokhir of Uzbekistan. Abhimanyu Loura (80kg) clashes against China’s Tuohetaerbieke Tanglatihan.