World championship medallists Amit Panghal and Shiva Thapa claimed berths in the Indian boxing team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games after emerging victorious in the trials, held on Thursday.
While Panghal, the 2019 world championship silver medallist, secured his place in the 51kg division, Thapa clinched the 63.5kg spot in the trials held at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports. The other six boxers who made their way into the Indian team include 2018 bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg), Rohit Tokas (67kg), reigning national champion Sumit (75kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg), Sanjeet (92kg) and Sagar (92kg+).
The CWG is set to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8. Panghal defeated fellow Services boxer Deepak 4-1 via a split decision. He will be aiming to improve upon his performance from the last edition in Gold Coast, where he won a silver medal. After being crowned the Asian champion and winning an unprecedented silver at the world championships in 2019, Panghal had a disappointing Tokyo Olympics last year, where he was knocked out in the pre-quarterfinals. He will be eager to redeem himself at the big-ticket event.
The 2015 world championship bronze medallist Thapa, who was last week elected as a member of the IBA Athletes Committee, on the other hand, out-punched 2018 CWG silver medallist Manish Kaushik 5-0 to seal his spot in the quadrennial event. A two-time Olympian, Thapa had missed out on the Tokyo Olympics as Kaushik had secured the 63kg category quota. He had competed at the world championships last year but exited the tournament after a quarterfinal defeat.
In the 57kg category, Hussamuddin prevailed over 2019 Asian Championship silver medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht 4-1, while Railways' Rohit eked out a close 3-2 win over Aditya Pratap Yadav of UP in the welterweight division. Sumit, Ashish and Sagar all dominated their bouts as they won by an identical 5-0 margin, while Sanjeet won by a 4-1 split decision. Sumit, who won the gold at the Thailand Open in April, out-manoeuvred Railways boxer Pawan, while Services' Lakshya Chahar was knocked out by the 2019 Asian Championships silver medallist Ashish of Himachal Pradesh in the middleweight division.
In the heavy weight and super heavy weight categories, Asian champion Sanjeet and Chandigarh's Sagar defeated Haryana boxer Naveen Kumar and Services' Narender respectively. India had finished second in the 2018 edition of the Games, returning with a haul of nine medals, including three golds and as many silvers and bronze. The women's trials for the Games will be held next week.
Amit Panghal (51kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) Rohit Tokas (67kg), reigning national champion Sumit (75kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg), Sanjeet (92kg) and Sagar (92kg+).