2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani put up a brilliant display as they led seven more Indian boxers into the finals at the 13th South Asian Games here in Nepal on Sunday.
While Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg) and Narender (+91kg) were the others to reach the summit clash from the men, all the three women — Pinki (51kg), Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) cruised into the finals.
The only setback for India was the defeat of Sachin in 81kg.
With eight Indian boxers having already sealed their final places a day before, India will now have a total of 15 boxers aiming for the gold medal.
Krishan continued his comeback in style as he dominated the 69kg semi-final bout against Nepal’s Bikash Lama whom he trounced 5-0. Bangladesh’s Chakma Sura Krishna proved no match for Varinder Singh in 60kg as the latter easily pummelled him into submission, notching up a 5-0 win as well.
Sparsh Kumar (52kg) also impressed in his bout with local hope Tej Bahadur Deuba and hardly broke a sweat in recording a 5-0 victory. In the super heavyweight category also, India had no trouble as Narender swatted aside the challenge of Sri Lanka’s Addurakaram Rallage Buwaneka Eranda 5-0.
Sachin Kumar was the only one from the Indian boxing contingent who failed to reach the final. Sachin suffered a cut in the first round of his 81kg bout against Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan and then bowed out 2-3 in a split verdict in a gritty contest.
Among the women, Pinki dashed the hopes of Pakistan’s Aziz Razia Bano with a solid flurry of punches that gifted her a 5-0 win to enter the 51kg final. Both Sonia and Manju were at their aggressive best and the referee had to stop the contest in the second round against Pakistan’s Mehreen and Perveen Rukhsana respectively.
The finals will be played over two days. On Monday, India’s Kalaivani (48kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) from the women and Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Sachin (56kg), Manish Kaushik (64kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg), and Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) from the men will be fighting for the gold.