World Championship bronze medallists Manish Kaushik (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) got India’s medal quest off to a glorious start as they entered the semi-finals on the first day of boxing action at the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu on Friday. While Ankit Khatana (75kg) was the third Indian to progress into the last-four; the national champion was at his menacing best as he knocked out the local boy Deepak Shrestha in the first round of his bout.
Continuing from where he left at the World Championships, Manish Kaushik thoroughly dominated his quarter-final bout against Pakistan’s Suleman Baloch to register a commanding 5-0 victory. In the 69 kg quarter-final, Vikas Krishan marked his comeback with superb performance and defeated Bhutan’s Dorji Tshering in a unanimous verdict.
In the women’s category, Sonia Lather (57 kg) had an easy outing against Bangladesh’s Shamima Akter as she won via RSC in the 3rd round while young and aspiring boxer, S. Kalaivani displayed her attacking prowess right from the word go as she landed a series of attacking punches on Pakistan’s Rabia Batool, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself.
Seven men boxers- Vinod (49kg), Sparsh (52kg), Sachin (57kg), Varinder (60kg), Sachin (81kg), Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) and Narender (+91kg) and four women boxers- Pinki Rani (51kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) are already in the semi-finals thus ensuring India of 16 medals. The semi-final bouts will be played on December 7 and 8th followed by finals on 9th.