10 March 2020
New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan (69kg) reached the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers final in Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday while Sachin Kumar (81kg) won the first of his two box-off bouts to keep India in the hunt for the highest-ever Olympic quota haul.
Top seed and World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) had to settle for bronze as did Lovlina Borgohain (69kg).
Indian boxers have so far dominated the Asian Qualifiers by bagging 8 quotas brought home by Mary Kom (51kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg) besides Panghal, Krishan and Borgohain.
India currently shares the top position with Kazakhstan out of 10 nations with chances of topping their 2012 haul of 8 quotas as Sachin Kumar and Manish Kaushik (63kg) are still in contention due to their box-off opportunities.
Indian boxers who failed in their quest at the Asian Qualifiers will get one more opportunity to realise their Olympic dream at the World Qualifiers set to be held in Paris in May.
Krishan's steely resolve was the biggest talking point for the Indian contingent on the semifinal day that had mixed results. Despite suffering a cut below his left eyebrow, the former Asian Games gold medallist refused to bow out and gave his all to knock out second seed and World Championships bronze medallist Ablaikhan Zhussupov of Kazakhstan with a 3-2 verdict.
Krishan will face Eishaih Hussein of Jordan in the final on Wednesday.
In the other bouts of the day, Panghal went down to Rio Olympics bronze medallist Jianguan Hu of China 2-3, despite having beaten him at the 2019 Asian Championships.
Two-time World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina was blanked 0-5 by China's Hong Gu in her semifinal bout.
Sachin Kumar (81 kg) defeated Manh Cuong Nguyen of Vietnam 4-1 in the first box-off bout and will next face Tajikistan's Shabbos Negmatulloev in the final box-off on Wednesday for the Olympic quota.