It was another great day for Indian boxing at the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana, Kazakhstan. While Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), secured an Olympic berth by making it to the semi-finals, defeating 2011 Asian Championship silver medallist Chuluuntumur Tumurkhyag of Mongolia, 2010 Youth Asian Championship silver medallist Sumit Sangwan (81kg) also booked a place in the round of four with a resounding win over reigning Asian Champion Kim Hyeong Kyu of Korea. Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) also joined the party with another massive victory in the quarter-finals of the heavy weight division, over Borbashev Chingis of Kyrgyzstan.
Sumit, The silver medal winner at the 2011 Tammer Cup adopted a steady approach, deciding to measure his opponent first. With scores knotted at 4 all, after the opening three minutes of play, he decided to take the charge. With his long reaching arms and some exquisite combinations, the 19 year old gained a four point advantage (11:7). The young Delhi lad exhibited a good example of intelligent boxing and slowly started to take the game away from his Korean rival. By the final round the margin was too big for Kim to make a come back. Sumit closed the deal with some hard hitting blows and a final score of 22:12.
Sangwan, who got the better of his more experience compatriot, Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar and Jasveer Singh in the selection trials for this event ? back at home, has shown great potential and is a testament to the kind of fresh talent Indian boxing fraternity is unearthing. In the round of four, he will face off against 2009 Asian Championship bronze medallist Ihab Almatdault from Jordan on Wednesday (11th Apr 2012). With only three Olympic quota places on offer in the light heavy weight division, the two finalists and the semi-finalist who loses to the eventual gold medal winner will be awarded the Olympic qualification. For Sumit, the best way to ensure an Olympic berth would be to make it to the finals of the tournament and leave nothing to chance, as the third spot will have a bit of fortune riding on it.
In the heavy weight division, Manpreet, who got rid of Tulyek Yerbolat of Mongolia in less than two minutes in the round of 16, was once against at his raring best as he steam rolled his opposition into submission. With the sound of first bell, the burley 23 year old launched into the Kyrgyz boxer, who was left rattling by the Indian?s aggression. The referee had no other option but to stop the contest and hand the victory to Manpreet. He was leading 8:4 in the second round when the fight was stopped. He will now take on Asian Games bronze medallist and former Asian Champion Ali Mazaheri of Iran in the semi-finals on Wednesday (11th Apr 2012). Manpreet will have to go all the way and scale the summit of the heavy weight division in order to grab the only qualification spot on offer.
On Monday (9th Apr 2012) Youth Olympics silver medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) will now square off against 2010 Asian Games winner and Athens Olympics silver medallist Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand. The promising 18 year old, who recently won a silver medal at the Czech Grand Prix, will have to be in top form get past the veteran Thai boxer and stake a claim for one of the three