2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan (69kg) and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani (51kg) guided India to six more gold medals as the Indian boxing contingent finished their campaign with a rich haul of 12 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze at the 13th South Asian Games. From the men, Sparsh Kumar (52kg), Narender (+91kg) were the others who bagged the yellow metal while Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) contributed to India’s gold medal tally.
Krishan, who won the bronze at the 2018 Asian Games, completed his comeback in style with a resounding 5-0 win over Pakistan’s Gul Zaib in 69kg. In the superheavyweight (+91kg) category, Narender too was equally impressive as he cruised to a 5-0 victory over Nepal’s Ashish Duwadi.
Sparsh Kumar (52kg) was made to work hard for the gold by Pakistan’s Syed Muhammad Asif. After a slow start, the Indian found his rhythm and landed a flurry of punches to emerge a 4-1 winner.
Varinder Singh (60kg) was the only one of the Indians to suffer a defeat on the final day of the competition. Nepal’s Sanil Shahi refused to break down in a gruelling bout that saw both the boxers fighting tooth and nail. Shahi eventually edged the Indian 3-2 to take the gold.
“Vikas Krishan’s opponent was executing blind punches but Vikas was alert and scored well in all rounds. Sparsh boxed well in the 1st and 2nd rounds. In the 3rd round, the Pakistan boxer was rushing, but Sparsh was in defence. Varinder Singh scored well in the 1st and 3rd rounds and in the 2nd round it was very close. Narender looked confused in Round 1 but after that, he gave a good account of himself,” said India’s men’s boxing chief coach, CA Kuttappa while assessing India’s performance on the final day.
All the women pugilists in action today won the gold. Former World Championships silver medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) hardly broke a sweat and easily dominated her final bout against Sri Lanka’s Krismi Ayoma Dulanj Lankapurayalage 5-0 to finish on the top podium.
Pinki Rani (51kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) both displayed tremendous fighting spirit and resilience to bag the gold in hard-fought encounters. While Rani beat Nepal’s Rai Mala 3-2, Bamboriya edged past Nepal’s Punam Rawal by the same scoreline.
On Monday, India had captured six golds through Ankit Khatana (75kg), Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Sachin (56kg), Gaurav Chauhan (91kg), Kalaivani Srinivasan (48kg) and Parveen (60kg).