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World Championship Silver medallist Sonia Chahal along with former World Championships gold medallist Sarita Devi and former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen will spearhead the 20-member Indian women’s boxing team at the Asian Boxing Championships to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from April 16 to 27, in the absence of Mary Kom. The six-time world champion, who won India’s solitary gold medal from the Asian Women’s Championships in the 2017 edition in Vietnam, has decided to skip the event this time in order to focus on the World Championships to be held later in the year. A lot of talented youngsters thus make up the team selected on the basis of the three-day trial held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium that saw a total of 46 boxers taking part. While Zareen defeated Pinki Rani 4-1 to secure the pole position in the final of the trial in the 51 kg, Pinki Rani will be the reserve. Zareen began the season in scintillating fashion by clinching the gold medal at the Strandja Memorial boxing tournament and will look to carry on with that form. Young Haryana pugilist Nitu, a two-time youth world championships gold medallist, is a bright prospect in 48kg and will look to do justice to her selection after blanking Manju Rani 5-0. The 54kg challenge will be led by her state-mate and World Championship quarter-finalist, Manisha, a gritty 3-2 winner over Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament gold medallist Maisnam Meenakumari. Sonia Chahal will represent the country in 57kg following a decisive 5-0 win over Sakshi in the final trial. In 60kg, veteran Sarita Devi beat Parveen 4-1 and will be making her comeback after losing narrowly in the pre-quarter-finals at last year’s World Championships. India’s hopes in 64kg will rest on Punjab’s Simranjit Kaur and Assam’s Lovlina Borgohain, bronze medallist in 2017, will be the one to watch in 69kg. While Kaur beat the talented Pwilao Basumatary 5-0, Borgohain pummelled Anjali Tushir by an identical scoreline. Haryana boxers Nupur and Pooja Rani secured their berths in 75kg and 81 kg respectively. Nupur conceded a point to beat Pooja 4-1 and Pooja Rani ran away with a commanding 5-0 win over Nandini. Experienced boxer, Seema Poonia will be vying for the title in the 81+kg category following a 4-1 victory over Kavita Chahal. After seven successful editions, the women’s competition will be held simultaneously as the men at the Asian Championships for the very first time. In the last edition, the Indian women grabbed a total of seven medals that included one gold, one silver and five bronze. Team: 48kg: Nitu (Haryana), Manju Rani (Punjab, reserve). 51kg: Nikhat Zareen (Telangana), Pinki Rani (Haryana, reserve). 54kg: Manisha (Haryana), Meenakumari (AIP, reserve) 57kg: Sonia Chahal (RSPB), Sakshi (Haryana, reserve) 60kg: Sarita Devi (AIP), Parveen (Haryana, reserve) 64kg: Simranjit Kaur (Punjab), Pwilao Basumatary (RSPB, reserve) 69kg: Lovlina Borgohain (Assam), Anjali Tushir (reserve) 75kg: Nupur (Haryana), Pooja (RSPB, reserve) 81kg: Pooja Rani (Haryana), Nandini (CHD, reserve) 81+kg: Seema Poonia (RSPB), Kavita Chahal (AIP, reserve)