Tokyo Olympics 2020, Asia-Oceania Boxing Qualifiers: Amit Panghal becomes sixth Indian boxer to book a quota place for the Olympics
- Amit Panghal books a quota place for the Olympics after going through to the semi-finals of Asia-Oceania Boxing Qualifiers, Sakshi bows out.
What's the story?
Amit Panghal became the sixth Indian boxer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after reaching the semi-finals of the Asia-Oceania zone Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in the men's 52 kg weight category. Earlier in the day, Sakshi Chaudhary failed in her bid to qualify for the Olympics after she lost her quarter-final bout in the women's 57 kg weight category.
In case you didn't know...
The Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament for Boxing is being held at the Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman, Jordan from 3rd to 11th March. The Indian boxers competed in all the 13 weight categories (8 for men and 5 for women) at the qualifiers.
Across the men's and women's weight categories, a total of 11 Indian boxers had reached the quarter-finals and were one win away from qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Five of these boxers had already booked a ticket to the Olympics on Sunday after winning their respective quarter-final bouts.
Sakshi and Amit were the first two of another five Indian boxers, including 6-time World Champion Mary Kom, who had their quarter-final bouts scheduled for Monday.
Earlier in the tournament, Amit had defeated Enkhmanadakh Kharkhuu of Mongolia with a split 3-2 verdict while Sakshi had upset 4th seeded Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand via a split 4-1 decision to make it through to the quarterfinals.
There are six Olympic slots in the men's 52 kg weight category while there are only 4 Olympic quota places up for grabs in the women's 57 kg weight category at these qualifiers.
Also check out: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule
The heart of the matter
It was not a good start for India in the morning session of Day 7 of the Asia-Oceania zone Olympic Boxing Qualifiers with Sakshi Chaudhary losing her quarter-final bout, but Amit Panghal brought some cheer to the Indian boxing contingent by making it through to the semi-finals, thereby booking his ticket for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Amit, the World No.1 and World Championship silver medalist defeated Carlo Paalam of Philippines in the quarter-finals of the men's 52 kg weight category with a split 4-1 verdict in his favour.
The 1st round was a closely-fought affair with both boxers going hard at each other. Amit was able to secure a split 3-2 verdict with 3 judges scoring the round 10-9 in his favour while the other 2 judges scored the round 10-9 in favour of Paalam.
The 2nd round also followed a similar script with Amit edging out his Filipino opponent with the more telling punches and clinching a 4-1 verdict in his favour, 4 judges scoring the round 10-9 for the Indian and the other judge scoring it 10-9 for Paalam.
Knowing that he had probably done enough going into the 3rd round, Amit was more on the defensive and managed to keep his opponent at bay securing a 4-1 split verdict with the final judges' scorecards reading 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 27-30 in his favour.
Sakshi was defeated by Aeji IM of South Korea in the quarter-finals of the women's 57 kg weight category with a unanimous 5-0 verdict going against her.
The 20-year old Korean southpaw was the dominant boxer throughout the bout. Sakshi, who predominantly concentrated on counter-punches, could not breach the defences of Aeji.
The 1st round saw a split 4-1 decision in favour of the Korean, with 4 judges scoring it 10-9 for Aeji and the other judge scoring it 10-9 for Sakshi.
The 2nd round was even more one-sided with all the 5 judges scoring the round 10-9 in favour of the Korean.
Sakshi seemed to be disheartened going into the 3rd round and could not put up much of a fight. Aeji walked away with a unanimous 5-0 verdict, with the final judges' scorecards reading 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 in her favour.
Having already secured a quota place for the Tokyo Olympics, Amit will be up against Hu Jianguan of China in his semi-final encounter.
Sakshi, on the other hand, will have to wait for the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Paris from 13th to 20th May to have another shot at qualification.
Also check out: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally
Follow Sportskeeda to get the Olympics 2020 schedule, latest news, updates and morePublished 09 Mar 2020, 16:25 IST