Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) has qualified for the Olympic Games, while Manish Kaushik (63kg) remained in the hunt for a Tokyo ticket despite losing his quarterfinal bout in the Asia/Oceania Qualifiers on Monday. Also Read - Athletes Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Will Keep Their Places For 2021: Report
Second-seeded Mary Kom notched up a comfortable 5-0 win over Philippines’ Irish Magno in her quarterfinal bout for a ticket to her second Olympic Games. She won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics when women’s boxing was first introduced at the showpiece. The 37-year-old will square off against China’s Yuan Chang in the semifinals. Chang is a former Youth Olympics champion. Also Read - Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics Organisers Brace For Massive Additional Expenses After Delay
Mary put out a near-perfect performance against the very aggressive Magno. The Manipuri dictated the pace of the bout, drawing from her huge reservoir of experience to put Magon on the backfoot with a very effective counter-attacking strategy. Also Read - With Tokyo Olympics Postponed, Leander Paes Mulls Delaying Retirement
World bronze-winner and Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Kaushik, however, lost 2-3 to third seed Chinzorig Baatarsukh of Mongolia after an intense battle but is not out of contention for an Olympic berth just yet.
Kaushik has to win the box-off between losing quarterfinalists as the top six boxers will claim Tokyo tickets in the 63kg category. He will face Australia’s Commonwealth Games champion Harrison Garside in the box-off. The two clashed in the CWG final in 2018 with Garside ending up on the winning side.
Kaushik, who was up against an Asian Games silver-medallist, started well but lost steam in the face of relentless body shots by Baatarsukh, a two-time podium finisher at the Asian Championships.
Baatarsukh had lost to Kaushik in the second round of the world championships last year and he exacted revenge with an aggressive takedown of the Indian, especially in the final three minutes.
However, former junior world champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) failed to secure an Olympic berth after going down to Korea’s Im Aeji in the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old Chaudhary lost 0-5 to Im, who is also a former world youth champion. Only the semifinalists are entitled to an Olympic berth in the women’s 57kg category of the ongoing event.
Her next shot at Tokyo qualification would be the world qualifiers in May, provided she is selected for it.