Indian boxers Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) advanced to the finals of the Alexis Vastine International Tournament in Nantes, France after clinching contrasting victories. However, four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg) settled for a bronze after going down in his semifinal clash. He lost to local favourite Lounes Hamraoui in a 2-1 decision on Thursday.
Kavinder, an Asian championships silver-medallist and a former world championship quarterfinalist, defeated Frenchman Benik George Melkumian 3-0 to set up a summit clash against another local hope Samuel Kistohurry. Sanjeet, a gold-medallist from the India Open, got the better of American Sherrod Fulghm in a 2-1 verdict.
Sanjeet will also be up against a French opponent, Soheb Bouafia in the final. World championships silver-medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) is also through to the finals after beating American Christopher Herrera in a draw that only featured four boxers. This is the first international competition that Indian boxers are featuring in since the Olympic qualifiers in Jordan in March.
Their competition calendar as well as training schedule has been severely hampered by the shutdown that followed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indians are currently on a training trip to Europe during which they have been primarily based in Assisi, Italy.