Tokyo Olympics 2020, Asian Boxing Qualifiers: Ashish Kumar confident of performing 'even better' after stellar 5-0 victory in opening bout
- Ashish Kumar will now take on Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu of Kyrgyzstan in the Round of 16.
What's the story?
Asian Championship silver-medallist Ashish Kumar expressed his delight after winning his opening bout convincingly at the ongoing 2020 Asia & Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament.
Ashish Kumar was up against Kan Chia-Wei in the opening bout. The Indian pugilist put up a scintillating display in the boxing ring and defeated the Chinese Taipei boxer 5-0 in a unanimous decision.
With this victory in the Preliminary round, Himachal Pradesh-born Kumar progressed to the pre-quarterfinal of the Men's 75kg (Middleweight) category where he will take on Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu of Kyrgyzstan. Omurbek is the 4th seeded boxer in the category.
Earlier, Gaurav Solanki had defeated Akylbek Esenbek Uulu 5-0 in the Preliminary round of Men's Featherweight (57 kg) category and made his way through to the Round of 16. A total of 13 Indian boxers (8 men and 5 women) are in the hunt for a berth at Tokyo Olympics 2020 and are taking part in the continental event that is being conducted by nternational Olympic Committee's (IOC) Boxing Task Force.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on his impressive win and upcoming Round of 16 bout, Ashish Kumar said:
"My fight today was against the Chinese Taipei boxer. I have played against him before as well but had suffered a defeat on the previous occasion. Today I defeated him (Kan Chia-wei) with a clear one-sided 5-0 score. My preparation has been going on really well. Next, I will be taking on the fourth seed Boxer (Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu of Kyrgyzstan). I have fought him earlier as well and defeated him. However, as he is seeded (in this tournament), his confidence will be high. Regardless, my confidence is also very high. I have faith that I will perform even better and defeat him."
The young Indian boxer used counter-attacks to great effect and displayed a superior technique in the opening bout. His power and brilliant reach eventually proved to be too much for the Taiwense boxer.
Ashish will be in for a stiff challenge against Uulu in the pre-quarterfinal. Meanhwhile, Gaurav Solanki will lock horns with Mirzakhalilov, who is the reigning world champion in the category, in his Round of 16 bout. If the two can advance to the semi-finals of the 2020 Asia & Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament in their respective categories, then they will assure themselves of an Olympic berth.
Other top Indian boxers such as Amit Panghal and MC Mary Kom will also be in action at the qualification event.Published 03 Mar 2020, 20:00 IST