Former junior world champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) stunned Asian silver-medallist and fourth seed Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand to enter the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for Boxing on Wednesday. The two-time youth world champion Indian, who is only 19, prevailed in a split verdict against the Asian Games bronze-medallist in an engrossing bout. She will next be up against Korea’s IM Aeji on March 9. Also Read - Dingko Singh, Asian Gold Medallist Boxer, Dies of Cancer
Making the semifinals would assure her of a spot in the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July-August this year. The opening round was fought on even keel for the most part but Sakshi managed to be ahead of her fancied rival in a split verdict. Also Read - Video: Undefeated Boxing Great Floyd Mayweather vs Youtube Star Logan Paul Trading Blows In Exhibition Match
Techasuep came out all guns blazing in the second round and caught Sakshi off-guard with a barrage of combination straight punches. The Indian was pushed to the backfoot by the aggressive Thai, whose left jab was particularly eye-catching. Also Read - Asian Boxing: Shiva Thapa Assures India of Medal
But the judges ruled in Sakshi’s favour in a 3-2 second round verdict. In the final three minutes, Saskhi’s counter-attacks proved enough to trump Techasuep’s consistent aggression.
On Tuesday, the seasoned duo of Gaurav Solanki (57kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals in the men’s draw.
Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Solanki defeated two-time Kyrgyz national champion Akylbek Esenbek Uulu, while Asian Championship silver-medallist Ashish got the better of Taiwan’s Kan Chia-Wei.
Ashish will square off against Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu, who has been seeded fourth.
Solanki, whose CWG gold was in the 52kg division, will be up against top-seeded Uzbek Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, who got a bye into the second round.
Mirzakhalilov is the reigning world champion in this weight category besides being a gold-medallist at the 2018 Asian Games as well as the Asian Championships.
(With PTI Inputs)