As many as six boxers from the Indian contingent were given first round byes, as the Indian boxers got off to a remarkable start in the ongoing Asian Boxing Championships. Vikas Krishan (75 kg), the Asian Games bronze medalist was seeded at second, while Manish Kaushik (60 kg) provided the impetus by winning his first bout on the opening day. Manish defeated Bangladesh’s M Hossen in an emphatic fashion, out boxing him 3 – 0 in the opening round. Manish will now face China’s Chin Long on August 29th.
Six Indian boxers get first round byes
Meanwhile, the other boxers had a comfortable beginning, as they went through the draws. The defending champion and one of India’s brightest prospects for a medal, Shiva Thapa (56 kg), along with Vikas Krishan, L Devendro Singh (49 kg), Madan Lal (52 kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg) and Kuldeep Singh (81 kg) will be in action from August 30th.
Mandeep Jangra (69 kg), who bagged the silver last time around will start his campaign today, against Vietnam’s Vien Ngoc Huynh. Should Mandeep win his fight, he will face Japan’s Ysauhiro Suzuki in the pre quarters on the 30th.
Former Asian Games silver medalist, Manpreet Singh (91 kg) will also be in action on the 29th, as he is set to face Sri Lanka’s Nuvan Sugeewa, which should be a fairly easy challenge. Should he beat the Sri Lankan, Manpreet will face the second seed Rustam Tuglanov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals, which will surely be a tough challenge for the Indian.
In the super heavyweight category, Satish Kumar is set to square off against Korea’s Hyok Ri Jin on the 29th.
Among the rest, Shiva will be in action in the pre quarterfinal stage against the winner of the match between Jordan’s Mohammad Alwadi and Asror Vohidov of Kazakhstan on the 30th.
Devendro Singh will also open his campaign on the same day, as he is set to face China’s He Junjun in the last 16 stage match. Vikas Krishan, in his pre quarters will take on the winner of the contest between the Japanese, Ryota Hamazaki and Turkmenistan’s Arslanbek Achilov.
Manoj Kumar, the two time bronze winner will have a relatively easier outing, taking on Nepal’s Deepak Shreshtha on August 31st.
Former national champion, Madan Lal is set to take on Iraq’s Murtadha Raad Qasim Al – Sudani, while Kuldeep Singh would look to cement his place in the quarterfinals when he faces China’s Aolin Zhang.
The bigger picture – Chance to book a berth in the 2016 Olympics
The Indian contingent will hope to repeat, or better their previous exploits, when they finished second in 2013. But there is more at stake this time around, with the medalists getting the opportunity to participate in the World Championships, set to take place in Doha from October, which will be the first qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
66 quota places have been given to the Asian continent this time around for the Doha event, and a mammoth 188 boxers from 28 nations are taking part in the tournament, making it the biggest edition in the competition’s history!