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Boxing

Punching their way to Paris, Nishant, Amit, Jaismine shine at Olympic boxing qualifiers

Nishant Dev, Amit Panghal, and Jaismine Lamboria secured their spots in the Paris Olympics, as Ankushita Boro had to deal with a controversial exit.

Punching their way to Paris, Nishant, Amit, Jaismine shine at Olympic boxing qualifiers
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Nishant Dev in action at the second Boxing Olympic qualifiers. (Photo Credit: BFI)

By

Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 4 Jun 2024 4:34 AM GMT

The journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics is heating up, with just 53 days to go for the multisport event to begin. The second World Boxing Olympic Qualification in Bangkok, Thailand, saw remarkable performances from Indian athletes, with several securing their places in the upcoming Games.

From historic achievements to contentious decisions, the qualifiers were a mix of happiness and heartbreak. Here is a detailed look at how Indian boxers fared in this crucial tournament.

Nishant Dev secured historic Olympic quota

World Championships bronze medalist Nishant Dev continued his sublime run and made history by becoming the first Indian male boxer to win a quota place for the Paris Olympics.

Nishant delivered a commanding performance in the 71kg category quarter-final, defeating Vesile Cebotari of Moldova by unanimous decision.

Entering the match in stellar form, Nishant started aggressively, landing two powerful hooks on his opponent. Cebotari struggled to retaliate in the first round, allowing Nishant to dominate and secure a 5-0 lead with all judges scoring 10-9 in his favour.

The second round followed a similar script, with Nishant employing a combination of punches and a decisive jab that rattled Cebotari. Despite a brief fightback from Cebotari, Nishant remained unfazed, winning the second round with four judges in his favour and one scoring it a tie.

Both boxers showed signs of fatigue in the final round which was marred by Cebotari’s point deduction for a low blow. Nishant’s comprehensive performance not only earned him the victory but also a coveted spot at the Paris Olympics.

Ankushita Boro’s controversial exit

In the women’s 60kg category, Ankushita Boro faced a heartbreaking exit due to a controversial decision from the judges. Despite winning two rounds in her quarter-final clash, Ankushita lost the bout 2-3 to her Swedish opponent.

Ankushita started slowly, allowing her opponent to take control of the first round. However, she made a strong comeback in the second round, earning a 4-1 verdict. The final round saw a fierce exchange, with Ankushita continuing her aggressive approach.

Unfortunately, a few well-timed punches by the Swede swayed three of the five judges, resulting in Ankushita's narrow and contentious defeat.

More Olympic Quotas

Amit Panghal and Jaismine Lamboria also shone brightly in Bangkok, securing their places at the Paris Olympics in the men’s 51kg and women’s 57kg categories, respectively.

Amit Panghal, the 28-year-old Asian Games gold medallist, delivered a stellar performance, defeating Chinese boxer Liu Chuang 5-0 in the quarterfinals. Panghal, the former world number one, showcased his experience and skill to become the second Indian male boxer to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

In the pre-quarterfinals, he overcame South Korea’s Inkyu Kim with a 5-0 victory and survived a late onslaught from Mexico's Mauricio Ruiz to secure his place.

Jaismine Lamboria, who had to cut down three kilograms to compete in the 57kg category, also confirmed her spot by outsmarting Marine Camara of Mali 5-0. With her qualification, India now has six boxers headed to Paris, including four women. Jaismine’s adaptability and determination were evident as she secured her spot following a series of strong performances.

Despite some setbacks, including Sachin Siwach's 0-5 loss to Kyrgyzstan’s Munarbek Seiitbek Uulu in a box-off for a quota place, Indian boxers showcased resilience throughout the qualifiers. Notable boxers who have already qualified for the Paris Games include Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg).

The second World Boxing Olympic Qualification in Bangkok highlighted the strengths and challenges faced by Indian boxing as the athletes now set their sights on Paris 2024.

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