The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are just a few months away, and while the recent weeks will see athletes competing to enter the qualifiers for the grand event, India’s medal hopes have taken a leap forward. Former international silver medallist Amit Panghal has successfully secured top position in the upcoming Asian Olympic Qualifiers, coming out as 1st seeded to participate in the qualifying championship starting tomorrow in Amman, Jordan.
Panghal, who competes in the 52 kg category, is the only male Indian boxer who has secured a seeded place into the qualifying tournament. The no. 1 pugilist in International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Boxing Task Force list earlier won a silver at the 2019 World Championships. Pandgal’s experience is expected to be fruitful for India hoping to clinch a gold in Tokyo.
On the other hand, superstar female pugilist MC Mary Kom has seeded 2nd in the 51 kg category. Along with Mary, Lovlina Borgohain and Pooja Rani both also secured a place each in the qualifiers.
Borgohain, who has won two bronze medals at the World Boxing Championships, came second in the women’s 69 kg category. The 2019 Asian Amateur Championship gold medallist Rani, competing in the 71 kg category, entered as 4th.
The Asian Olympic Qualifiers is conducted by by the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force. They will also be in charge for the boxing events in Tokyo coming July and August.
Following a successful training period in the city of Assisi, Italy, the Indian boxing team touched down in the capital of Jordan for the event on 29th February. A total of 63 boxers, including eight men and five women Indian boxers will be battling out to secure an entry into the semi final of the event, which will automatically secure a berth for them at the Olympics.
Santiago Nieva, the High Performance Director for the Indian team expressed confidence on the pugilists. “Everything is fine here. The team is in high spirits and we are looking forward to a strong performance,” Nieva said in an interview with PTI.
“We have worked on some areas to ensure that our opponents do not stand a chance,” the director added.