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Asian Elite Boxing: Lovlina, Minakshi, Preeti, Parveen storm into semis; confirm medals for India (2nd Ld)

New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain emerged winner in a tough bout as did competition debutants Minakshi and Preeti along with the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist Parveen secured semifinal berths and guaranteed multiple medals for India at the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan.

There was also a setback as India’s Pooja suffered a 0-5 defeat against Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova in her 70kg quarterfinal bout.

Lovlina, who won a bronze medal in the 64-69 kg weight class at the Tokyo Olympic Games but has now moved up to 75kg, defeated Kazakhstan’s Valentina Khalzova 3-2 by split decision in the quarterfinal bout, in her first tournament in the new division.

Minakshi (52kg) faced the four-time Southeast Asian Games medallist Philippines’ Irish Magno in the quarterfinals. The Indian boxer started strongly, landing a flurry of punches and asserting her confidence from the beginning. Being sharp and nimble-footed, she worked hard to maintain that consistency against her opponent till the end and won the bout 4-1.

Similar to Minakshi, Preeti (57kg) also produced a spirited performance against Turdibekova Sitora of Uzbekistan. The 2021 Asian Youth Boxing champion sustained her balance of strong offence and deft defence till the end to ensure a 5-0 unanimous victory.

Keeping up with the two debutants, the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist Parveen (63kg) also excelled in her quarterfinals bout, proving to be unstoppable in her comprehensive 5-0 triumph over Thailand’s Panpatchara Somnuek. Her swiftness, relentless jabs, hooks and quick counterpunches kept her in the driving seat for the entire game with her opponent rarely getting the opportunity to attack, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) said in a release on Saturday.

Minakshi will now face Mongolia’s Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg, Preeti will take on Japan’s Irie Sena and Parveen will be up against Mongolia’s Uranbileg Shinetsetseg in the semifinals on November 9.

In the other quarterfinal, Sakshi (54kg) suffered a 0-5 defeat at the hands of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Hsiao-Wen Huang of Chinese Taipei and bowed out of the competition.

Late on Friday night, Ananta Chopade (54kg) booked his place in his quarters with a commanding 5-0 win over Japan’s Tanaka Shogo while Etash Khan (60kg) suffered a 2-3 defeat in a hard-fought game against Thailand’s Khunatip Pidnuch.

Later tonight, 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) will kick off her campaign against the 2016 World Champion Valentina Khalzova of Uzbekistan.

Seven Indians including 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) and 5-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) will be contesting in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Sunday.

The other pugilists in action will be Govind Sahani (48kg) Ananta Chopade (54kg), Amit Kumar (67kg), Monika (48kg) and Simranjit Kaur (60kg).

Simranjit, the 2018 World Championship bronze medallist is making her comeback and will be facing the Asian Games gold medallist and two-time Asian gold medallist Yeonji Oh of Korea.

The competition is witnessing the participation of 267 boxers from 27 top boxing nations.

–IANS

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