Asian Youth Boxing Championship 2018: Indian women dazzle as team bags rich haul of 11 medals
Indian women ruled the roster at the Asian Youth Boxing Championship as World Youth Championship gold medalist Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg), Lalita (69 kg) and Manisha (64 kg) secured three gold medals for the country while the Indian team was positioned second in the medal tally with a total of 11 medals, here in Bangkok on Friday evening.
The lion hearted Nitu continued her dominance in the squared-ring as she breezed past local lass Nillada Meekoon comprehensively to stamp her authority on the gold and pave the way for the others after India’s first summit clash.
In the 64 kg high-octane final, Manisha had to toil it out against Idimokh Kholova of Tajikistan as it went down to the wire and the Indian eked out the win via split verdict (3-2) and secured India’s second gold.
Next up, Lalita had it easy as she maintained an impregnable defense while landing her quick combinations to steamroll past her opponent with a unanimous decision to bring home India’s third gold.
However, the lone Indian male in the summit clash, Ankit, faltered at the final hurdle as did three other female pugilists - National Champion Anamika (51 kg), Sakshi (81 kg) and World Youth Championship bronze medalist Neha Yadav (+81 kg) – to settle for silver.
India also secured two bronze each in the men’s and the women’s department with Bhavesh Kattamni (52 kg) and Aman (+91 kg) and Divya Panwar (54 kg) and Astha (75 kg) lost in their respective semifinal bouts.
Even though the Asian Youth Championship served as a qualification round for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, none of the Indian pugilists made the cut even after securing gold medals (the required criterion for qualifying) as only four weight categories in the women’s section – 51 kg, 57 kg, 60 kg and 75 kg – will feature at the games in Buenos Aires.
Nonetheless, Jyoti (51 kg), by virtue of securing a gold at the World Youth Championship in Guwahati in 2017 and her age falling under the category of the requisite guidelines, will have her sights set on the ultimate glory at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in October.
The Indian contingent will have another shot at securing more berths for the YOG when they travel to Budapest, Hungary in August later this year