Updated March 11th, 2024 at 10:32 IST

World Championships medallist Boxer Nishant Dev one win away from securing Paris Olympic quota

23-year-old World Championships medallist Nishant Dev moved within touching distance of a Paris Olympic quota after he registered a dominant victory over Christos Karaitis of Greece to enter the 71kg quarterfinals of the first World Olympic Boxing Qualifier.

India boxer Nishant Dev in action | Image: BFI
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World Championships medallist Nishant Dev moved within touching distance of a Paris Olympic quota after he reympic Boxing Qualifier here.

The 23-year-old, who won the featherweight bronze at the World Championships last year, continued his rich vein of form, as he out-punched Karaitis by a 5-0 unanimous decision in the pre-quarterfinals late on Sunday.

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With the qualifying tournament offering four quota places in the men's 71kg weight class, Dev needs to win his quarterfinal on Monday to seal his passage for Paris Games and earn the fifth 2024 Olympic quota for India and the first in the men's category in boxing.

However, Dev, who is vying to compete in his debut Olympic, will have his task cut out as he faces a tough opponent in 2021 World Championship silver medallist Omari Jones of the USA in the last eight round on Monday.

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The Haryana boxer is the only Indian boxer out of the nine-member contingent who is still in the fray for a quota.

All others, including 2023 World Championship bronze medallists Deepak Bhoria (51kg) and Mohammed Hussamudin (57kg) crashed out after losing their opening bouts.

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Four Indians -- Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) -- have so far secured Paris quotas at the Asian Games last year.

The remaining Indian boxers will get a final chance to seal their passage to Paris during the second World Olympic Boxing Qualifier, scheduled to be held in Bangkok from May 23 to June 3. Between 45 and 51 boxers will qualify from the Bangkok meet.

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India had nine boxers competing in the Tokyo Olympics with Borgohain winning the only medal, a bronze. The Boxing Federation of India will hope to match the number if not increase it.

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Published March 11th, 2024 at 10:32 IST