New Delhi: Eight Indian boxers, including seven women, stormed into the finals of AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce, Poland, an unprecedented achievement for the country in the marquee age group event.
Apart from the eight finalists, three others settled for bronze medals at the tournament, a performance which betters the 10 medals that India won in its best ever show not too long back in the 2018 edition in Hungary.
The ones who made the finals, to be held on Thursday after a rest day on Wednesday, were Gitika (48kg), Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg), Vinka (60kg), Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), Poonam (57kg), Thokchom Sanamachu Chanu (75kg) and Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) among women.
Among men, only Sachin (56kg) made the summit clash while three others signed off with bronze medals.
Gitika defeated Italy’s Erika Prisciandaro 5-0 to set up a clash with Poland’s Natalia Dominika, while Vinka prevailed 4-1 against Czech Republic’s Veronika Gajdova. Vinka will next take on Kazakhstan’s Zhuldyz Shayakhmetova.
Arundhati had little trouble getting past Uzbekistan’s Khadichabonu Abdullaeva in a unanimous 5-0 verdict and she will be up against Poland’s Barbara Marcinkowska in her summit showdown.
Babyrojisana also notched up a similar result against Italy’s Elen Ayari. She has Russia’s Valeriia Linkova to contend with in the finals. Manipur’s Babyrojisana is the reigning Asian youth champion. Poonam sailed past Uzbekistan’s Sitora Turdibekova 5-0, and France’s Sthelyne Grosy awaits her in the gold medal bout.
Sanamacha clinched a 4-1 triumph over Poland’s Daria Parada. She will square off against Kazakhstan’s Dana Diday in her last bout of the event. Alfiya had a tough one against Poland’s Oliwia Toborek but the Indian did enough to prevail 3-2. Moldova’s Daria Kozorez will be her final challenge.
In the evening session, Sachin was the lone Indian to triumph, beating Italy’s Michele Baldassi. He will fight it out with Kazakhstan’s Yerbolat Sabyr for the top honours on Friday.
Asian youth silver-winner Ankita Narwal (64kg), Bishwamita Chongthom (49kg) and Vishal Gupta (91kg) ended their campaigns with third-place finishes following semifinal losses. Ankit and Bhswamitra lost in split 1-4 decisions to Kazakhstan’s Sabirzhan Akkalykov and Sanzhar Tashkenbay respectively.
Vishal was beaten 5-0 by Poland’s Jakub Straszewski.
The tournament was unified for men and women in 2014 for the first time.