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Only 2 out of the 9 Indian boxers survive in the Tokyo Olympics

9 pugilists from India qualifying for the Olympics is no common feat. But has it really transformed into anything worthy inside the ring?

Lovlina Borgohain and Satish Kumar Tokyo Olympics
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Lovlina Borgohain and Satish Kumar

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-08-01T10:01:39+05:30

The Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be a great one for Indian boxing. After the disappointment of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the country had sent its largest-ever contingent in the sport to Tokyo.

9 pugilists from India qualifying for the Olympics is no common feat. But has it really transformed into anything worthy inside the ring?

For starters, yes. It certainly has. Unlike five years back in Rio de Janeiro, the Indian pugilists would not return back from the Games empty-handed.

A certain Lovlina Borgohain has qualified for the semifinal of the Women's Welterweight division and has assured at least a bronze medal for India in boxing at the Tokyo Olympics.

But, what about others?

Well, Satish Kumar is still in contention in the Men's Super Heavyweight division and will play his quarterfinal bout tomorrow. A win will ensure a medal for Satish as well, but it does not look promising.

The 32-year-old will be up against the Uzbek Bakhodir Jalolov – the reigning Asian and World Champion. The Indian will surely start as an underdog and will have to be at this best to stand any chance of winning.

That being said, reputation has not really mattered in the Tokyo Olympics, and the Indian fans will surely hope it does not matter tomorrow when Satish Kumar takes on Bakhodir Jalolov.

Okay, these are just two. What about the remaining seven?

Lovelina Borgohain (Source: Getty Images)

In simple words, they have all been knocked out. Yes, seven Indian boxers knocked out in eight days of the Tokyo Olympics!

The most shocking of all came in the Men's Flyweight division wherein the World Number 1 Amit Panghal went down against the 2016 Rio silver medallist Yuberjen Martinez of Columbia.

Panghal was one of India's biggest medal hopes going into the Olympics and was the only pugilist from the country who had a realistic chance of getting on the podium.

But the 25-year-old looked far from his best once the Columbian went on the attack and was knocked out from the Olympics in his very first bout.

Yes, the World Number 1 knocked out in his very first bout!

Four others – Vikas Krishan, Manish Kaushik, Ashish Chaudhary, Simranjeet Kaur, too went out in the very first round itself.

While Vikas Krishan was counted amongst the dark horses for India in Tokyo by many, his exit in the very first round came as a shocker. It was later revealed that he played through a shoulder injury, but still, him not being able to perform to his best was a big jolt to Indian boxing.

The remaining two – Pooja Rani and Mary Kom, the quarterfinal and pre-quarterfinal respectively before being sent packing.

While Pooja Rani was no match to her Chinese opponent in the quarterfinal earlier today, Mary Kom went down fighting to Columbia's Igrit Valencia Victoria and bizarrely did not know she had lost until an hour after their quarterfinal bout.


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