What's the story?
Sakshi Chaudhary continued India's good start at the Asia & Oceania zone Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament by sailing through to the quarterfinals in the women's 57 kg weight category. She is now just one win away from qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.
In case you didn't know
The Asia & Oceania zone Olympic Qualification Tournament for Boxing is being held at the Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman, Jordan from 3rd to 11th March. The qualifiers are being held across 13 weight categories (8 for men and 5 for women).
India is being represented by boxers in all the 13 weight categories with London Olympic bronze medalist and 6-time World Champion Mary Kom and World Championship silver medalist Amit Panghal leading the pack.
Gaurav Solanki and Ashish Kumar had won their Round of 32 clashes in the men's 57 kg and 75 kg weight categories yesterday to give India a bright start at the qualifiers.
Sakshi Chaudhary from Haryana is representing India in the women's 57 kg (featherweight) category. There are 4 Olympic quota places up for grabs in this weight category.
Sakshi had earlier booked a spot at the Olympic qualifiers by coming on top at the trials conducted by the Boxing Federation of India. She had to overcome tough competition in the form of Sonia Chahal, Sonia Lather and Manisha Moun in the 57 kg trials which should hold her in good stead at the qualifiers.
Also Checkout: the full Olympics 2020 Schedule
The heart of the matter
Two-time World Youth Champion Sakshi Chaudhary upset 4th seeded Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand in a pre-quarterfinal encounter in the women's 57 kg weight category at the Asia & Oceania zone Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan.
The 19-year old Sakshi got the better of her more renowned 26-year old Thai opponent, a bronze medalist at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and silver medalist at the 2019 Asian Championships, via a split 4-1 decision in a close encounter.
Sakshi started off well and won the first round by a split 4-1 verdict with 4 of the judges scoring the round 10-9 in favour of the Indian and the remaining judge scoring the round 10-9 in favour of the Thai boxer.
Stung by the reverse, the Thai boxer came hard at the Indian in the initial stages of the 2nd round but the Indian managed to stave of her opponent without much damage. Nilawan, the taller boxer, made good use of her reach and used a combination of left-right punches to score the points with Sakshi being more on the defensive side. But despite her aggression, the Thai boxer could only get a split 3-2 verdict from the judges with 3 of the judges scoring the round 10-9 in favour of Nilawan and the other 2 judges scoring the round 10-9 in favour of Sakshi.
Aware that she was in the lead going into the final round, Sakshi continued to be on the defensive and scored her points through counter-attacks. Although Nilawan tried to be aggressive, she couldn't land too many punches to impress the judges. The judges gave a split 4-1 verdict at the end of the final round with the judges' scorecard reading 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 27-30 and 30-27 in favour of the Indian.
Sakshi will be up against Aeji IM of South Korea in her quarterfinal encounter. A win against Aeji would earn her an entry into the semi-finals and with it a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
India's Simranjit Kaur would be up against Rimma Volossenko of Kazakhstan in her Round of 16 encounter in the women's 60 kg category later in the day. She would be hoping to maintain India's winning run at the qualifiers.
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Follow Sportskeeda to get the Olympics 2020 medal tally, schedule, latest news & more.Published 04 Mar 2020, 16:38 IST