Panghal, Sachin clinch gold; Nikhat settles for silver at Strandja Memorial
Panghal won his bout against 2023 world champion Sanzhar Tashkenbay of Kazakhstan in a clinical 5-0 win. Nikhat Zareen, however, lost her final 2-3.
Indian star boxer Amit Panghal and youngster Sachin Siwach won the gold medal in the men's boxing category at the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday. India ended the tournament with a total of eight medals, including 2 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze
Panghal won his final bout against the 2023 world champion of the minimumweight category, Sanzhar Tashkenbay of Kazakhstan in a clinical 5-0 win.
The former Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championships silver medallist, Panghal, however, will not be competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers in Italy later this month.
Later, national champion Sachin Siwach (57kg) joined Panghal in continuing India's gold medal spree at the prestigious annual event. Sachin beat Uzbekistan's Shakhzod Muzafarov on a unanimous verdict despite a close 3-2 score in the first round.
The boxer from Haryana grew in confidence as the bout progressed and used his height advantage while timing his punches to perfection in the second and third rounds to emerge victorious by a 5-0 margin.
Meanwhile, the reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen missed her third Strandja gold medal after going down 2-3 in a closely fought final against Uzbekistan’s Sabina Bobokulova. Nikhat did not have the best of starts as her Uzbeki counterpart went aggressive from the word go.
The Indian pugilist found it hard to settle in as she lost the first round 1-4. Nikhat did find her rhythm in the second round but the former Junio Asian champion Sabina was very solid defensively and her quick head movements made it difficult for Nikhat to connect the punches as she found herself behind 2-3 in the second round.
Three more Indian boxers - Arundhati Choudhary (66kg), Barun Singh Shagolshem (48kg) and Rajat (67kg) all settled with the silver medal after losing their respective bouts while earlier in the tournament Akash and Naveen signed off with bronze medals.