Five Indian boxers have so far managed to book their berth for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Satish Kumar (91kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Krishan (69kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) were the first set of boxers to qualify for the Olympics. The Asian Olympic qualifiers are taking place in Amman, Jordan.
The qualifiers were initially scheduled to take place in Wuhan, China. But following the Coronavirus outbreak, the event had to be shifted to the Middle East.
Two-time world championship Bronze Medalist and Asian Bronze medalist Lovlina Borgihain qualified to the Olympics following a victory over Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva to enter the semi-finals.
“I managed to execute whatever I had planned. I wanted to fight from a distance and counter-attack, which I could do. Just qualifying is not enough, I want to now win a gold medal,” Lovlina said following her bout.
Commonwealth gold medalist Vikas Krishan Yadav also qualified for the Olympics following a victory over Sewonrets Okazawa of Japan. Yadav turned professional last year after signing with Top Rank Promotions and fought twice as a pro and winning both his fights. He later took time off as a pro and concentrated on the Olympic qualifiers.
Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Satish Kumar defeated Daivii Otgonbayar of Mongolia 5-0 to qualify. Even though he has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic games, he has a tough task ahead in the semis as he will fight reigning Asian champion Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan.
Ashish Kumar also qualified for the Olympics in the 75kg category after defeating Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd Muskita 5-0.
“I am happy with how I performed. My next fight is a tough one but I will give it my all,” Ashish said following his bout against Muskita.
Pooja Rani from Bhiwani also managed to qualify for the Olympics in the 75 kg category. She defeated Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee 5-0 to secure her berth.
“I had never fought against this girl before today and honestly, I was a bit scared. I had told my coaches about it before the bout. They instilled confidence in me and I could pull off a one-sided result. I am happy,” Pooja Rani said.
Indian Boxing star Mary Kom and Amit Panghal are yet to fight.