Nishant Dev secures place in Paris Olympics, Panghal and Siwach one win away

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Bangkok. Nishant Dev (71 kg) became the first Indian male boxer to secure a quota for the Games to be held in Paris by reaching the semi-finals of the Boxing Olympic Qualifiers here on Friday. Nishant, a World Championship bronze medalist who narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth in the previous qualifiers, secured the quota by defeating Moldova’s Vasil Cebotari 5-0 in the quarter-finals.

In this way, India secured the fourth quota place for the Olympics in boxing. Before Nishant, women boxers Nikhat Zareen (50 kg), Preeti Pawar (54 kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75 kg) have confirmed their tickets for Paris.
Amit Panghal (51kg) and Sachin Siwach (57kg) have also come very close to the Paris quota in their respective categories.
Five quota places were at stake in the men’s 71kg weight category and Nishant thus secured his place in the Paris Olympics by reaching the semi-finals.

Nishant, who has dominated the tournament so far, started aggressively again and defeated his opponent by throwing punches right from the beginning. Sebotari tried to dominate in the second round but the Indian boxer continued to throw accurate punches. In the third and final round, both the boxers looked tired but Nishant still maintained his aggression. When Nishant fell down, Sebotari punched him for which he also lost a point.

In the evening session, Panghal defeated South Korea’s Kim Inkyu in the pre-quarterfinals. The World Championship 2019 silver medalist is now one win away from winning an Olympic quota. Siwach also came closer to an Olympic ticket with an impressive 4-1 win over 2021 World Championship bronze medalist French boxer Samuel Kistohury in the quarterfinals. There is only one spot in the 57 kg weight category, so Siwach will have to win one more match.

Earlier, India’s hopes of securing an Olympic quota in the women’s 60kg weight category ended with Ankushita Boro’s 2-3 defeat to Agnes Alexiusson. The 23-year-old Indian player put up a tough fight against her Swedish opponent but the former European Games medallist used her experience to knock Boro out.

Former world youth champion Boro started slowly but by the end of the first round she had gained momentum which helped her to win over one judge. After trailing 1-4 in the first round, Boro started aggressively in the second round and landed some hard punches. Sweden’s 28-year-old player Alexiason had no answer to her. Both boxers entered the third round with the same result. The Indian boxer started well but could not maintain it while Alexiason performed well in the end.

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