Asian Games : Boxers Vikas Krishan and Amit Panghal in semis; Sarjubala Devi, Dheeraj Rangi exit

Jakarta : Star boxer Vikas Krishan (75kg) overcame a bleeding left eye to be assured of an unprecedented third consecutive Asian Games medal, while Amit Panghal (49kg) produced a power-packed performance in his quarter-final bout to guarantee himself a maiden podium finish on Wednesday.

However, it was curtains for world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi (51kg) after she lost her quarter-final bout 0-5 to up and coming Chinese Chang Yuan, a Youth Olympics gold-medallist and also a former youth world champion.

Her loss means that Indian women boxers would be returning without a medal from the Asiad for the first time since the event was added to the Games in 2010. The celebrated MC Mary Kom had claimed a gold and L Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani fetched a bronze each in the 2014 edition.

Vikas, a gold medallist in 2010 and bronze winner in 2014, prevailed on a split 3-2 verdict against China’s Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan in the quarter-finals.

It was a tough bout for the seasoned boxer, who had to go on the defensive in the first round. He will square off against Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul in the semi-finals. “My performance was affected by the cut I suffered in the first round.

“I was a bit disturbed and that I was not able to block him that much. If it wasn’t for the cut, I would have beaten him 5-0 like I did in the past. Having said that, he is a good boxer,” said Vikas.

Earlier, Amit advanced to assure himself of a maiden medal at the Games. The Armyman defeated South Korea’s Kim Jang Ryong 5-0 with a thoroughly dominating performance to enter the last-four stage where he will take on Filipino Carlo Paalam. In the boxing competition, semi-finalists are entitled to bronze medals.

In the evening session, national champion Dheeraj Rangi (64kg) fought his heart out against Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig but could not find favour with judges. The Indian came up with impressive right hooks but was done in by a weak defence.

With this, India equalled its 2014 performance in men’s boxing in terms of number of medals assured.

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