Amit Panghal created history as the world silver-medallist Indian boxer has been ranked World No. 1 by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force ahead of next month’s Olympic Qualifiers. Panghal, 24, became the first Indian pugilist in over a decade to achieve the global top position in his category. Also Read - If Jasprit Bumrah Can Stay Fit, He Will Take 400 Test Wickets - Curtly Ambrose
The rankings took into account the last two world championships for both men and women and the continental championships and Games in 2019. The Asian Olympic Qualifiers will be held in Amman, Jordan next month. Also Read - Hardik Pandya May Not be Seen in Test Cricket For a Long While - Aakash Chopra
Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh did it for the first time in 2009 after he opened India’s account at the world championships with a bronze in the 75kg division. Also Read - The Pressure of Expectations is Getting to Shubman Gill - Sunil Gavaskar
Panghal tops the charts with 420 points, according to the list released by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Boxing Task Force, which is in charge of administering the sport right now.
“It is a great feeling and obviously means a lot to me because it will help me in being seeded at the qualifiers. Being world no.1 also gives you a renewed sense of confidence,” Panghal told PTI.
“I hope to secure an Olympic spot in the first qualifier itself,” added the diminutive boxer from Rohtak.
The IOC task force will be conducting the Olympic qualifiers since the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is currently suspended for alleged financial and administrative mismanagement.
It’s been a dream run for Panghal, who has clinched gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Games. Last year, he became the first Indian to claim a silver medal at the world championships after notching up a gold at the Asian meet.
Meanwhile, in the women’s rankings, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom occupies the fifth spot in the 51kg category. Mary Kom, who won an unprecedented eighth world medal — a bronze — last year, has 225 points. Her rival Nikhat Zareen is ranked 22nd with 75 points.