What's the story?
Vikas Krishan became the second Indian boxer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after reaching the semi-finals of the Asia-Oceania zone Olympic Boxing Qualifiers. But another Indian, Sachin Kumar lost his quarterfinal clash although he is still not out of the race for Olympics qualification.
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 are competing 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 pugilists had reached the quarter-finals and were one win away from qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Earlier in the day, Pooja Rani had already qualified for the Olympics after reaching the semi-finals in the women's 75 kg weight category.
Also Checkout: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule
Vikas and Sachin had earlier reached the quarterfinals after clinching unanimous 5-0 verdicts in their favour in the Round of 16 clashes.
The heart of the matter
Vikas Krishan defeated third-seeded Sewon Okazawa of Japan in the quarterfinals of the men's 69 kg weight category with a unanimous 5-0 verdict in his favour. The win enabled him to qualify for his third Olympics.
The 1st round of the bout was a closely-fought affair with both boxers going hard at each other. This was reflected in the judges' verdict as well as they gave a split 3-2 decision with 3 judges scoring the round 10-9 in favour of Vikas and the other 2 judges scoring it 10-9 in favour of the Japanese.
Having won the tightly contested 1st round, Vikas was his confident self in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Although Okazawa tried his best, he couldn't get through Vikas' defence and was struck back on the counter. All the 5 judges scored both the last 2 rounds 10-9 in favour of Vikas for him to emerge a unanimous 5-0 victor with the final judges' scorecard reading 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.
Sachin, the 3rd Indian in the fray in the morning session of Day 6 of the qualifiers, was defeated by Chen Daxing of China in the quarterfinals of the men's 81 kg weight category with a split 3-2 verdict going against him.
Sachin was the dominant boxer in the 1st round and won a unanimous 5-0 verdict in his favour with all the judges scoring the round 10-9.
The lanky Chinese boxer came back fighting in the 2nd round and out-boxed his Indian opponent to get a split 4-1 verdict in his favour, 4 judges scoring the round 10-9 for the Chinese and the other judge scoring it 10-9 for the Indian.
Sachin continued to be defensive in the 3rd round and he paid the price for it as the Chinese took advantage to land some telling blows. This helped Chen to close the bout with a split 3-2 verdict in his favour, the final judges' scorecard of 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 28-29 showing the closeness of the bout.
Vikas will be facing the second-seeded Ablaikhan Zhussupov of Kazakhstan in the semi-final encounter. With the Olympics ticket already in his bag, Vikas can be at his aggressive self in the remainder of the tournament and hope to go all the way and bag a gold medal at the event.
Sachin on the other hand will have to go through the box-off process to secure a berth at the Olympics. With 5 Olympic slots up for grabs in the men's 81 kg weight category, he will have to win 2 more bouts against the other losing quarter-finalists to make the cut.
India will be looking forward to the evening session with 3 more boxers - Lovlina Borgohain, Ashish Kumar and Satish Kumar taking to the ring for their quarterfinal encounters. A win would guarantee them a place at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
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