Boxer Nishant Dev claims fourth Paris Olympics quota for India

Nishant Dev earns a Paris Olympics quota for India
Nishant Dev earns a Paris Olympics quota for India

Boxer Nishant Dev has just ensured that India will be represented in the men's 71 kg weight class at the upcoming Paris Olympics. The youngster is the first man and fourth Indian overall to earn a quota for the country.

Competing at the World Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Dev was gunning for one of the five seats to Paris up for grabs in his category. The Indian had his first chance to book his nation a berth at the Games in March when he participated in the first qualification tournament in Busto Arsizio.

However, the World Championship bronze-medalist was dealt heartbreak in Italy, falling only one win short of ensuring India was represented at the Games. Dev seemed prepared this time around though, and was on fire in Bangkok.

In his quarterfinal clash, the boxer got the better of Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari dominantly. Dev won by 5:0, a repeat of his round of 16 win over home favorite Peerapat Yeasungnoen.

This makes Nishant Dev the fourth Indian boxer to earn a quota for the Paris Olympics, with Nikhat Zareen, Lovlina Borgohain, and Preeti Pawar all having earned berths at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games.

However, despite being the one to claim the quota, Dev isn't assured of making it to Paris just yet, as a country's respective NOC decides who heads to the Games later this summer.

Nishant Dev reacts to claiming an Olympic quota

For Nishant Dev, this win at the World Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament marks a perfect comeback after a disappointing few outings. The Indian has won bronze at the 2023 Uzbekistan World Championships and was expected to be on the podium at the Asian Games.

However, the 23-year-old failed to claim a medal in Hangzhou and had a disappointing outing at the first qualifier tournament earlier this year in March as well. Now, reacting to finally laying his hands on an Olympic quota, Dev told BFI (Boxing Federation of India):

“Guess who's back? Nishant Dev is here. This comeback is personal, no fear, because ‘Hanuman Ji’ is there.”

Having earned this valuable Olympic quota for India, fans will now be curious to see if Dev gets to make his Olympic debut later this year.

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