Indian women boxer Nandini produced an accomplished performance and stormed into the semi-finals on Day 3, confirming India's first medal at the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The 21-year-old pugilist started off brilliantly and dominated Kazakhstan's Valeriya Axenova from the word go in the women's +81kg quarter-finals bout. The Mohali resident Nandini's relentless powerful punches unsettled her opponent in the third round before the Indian was declared as the winner by Referee Stopping Contest verdict.
The reigning national champion Nandini has now secured at least a bronze medal with a place into the Last-4 stage where she will take on another Kazakh boxer Lazzat Kungeibayeva, the former world champion and 2021 Asian Championships gold medallist.
The current youth world champion Arundhati Choudhary and Parveen also marched into quarter-finals after registering commanding victories by an identical 5-0 margin in their respective opening round matches, played late on Tuesday.
While Arundhati outclassed Italy's Melissa Gemini in the 70kg match, Parveen (63kg) blanked Kazakhstan's Aida Abikeyeva.
Meanwhile, Sachin Kumar (80kg), Rohit Mor (57kg) alongside country's three women boxers, Meena Rani (60kg), Anjali Tushir (66kg) and Saweety (75kg), made exits after conceding defeats in their respective matches.
On the fourth day of Europe's oldest international boxing tournament, Anamika (50kg) will look to secure a medal as she will fight in the quarter-finals while Sumit (75kg) will play his second round match.
A 17-member Indian contingent, including seven men and 10 women, is participating at the on-gong tournament which has been witnessing thrilling action in presence of over 450 boxers from 36 countries around the world, including strong boxing nations such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia and France.
The prestigious tournament will be played till February 27.