Tashkent : Three Indian boxers, including fourth seed Shiva Thapa (60kg), on Wednesday qualified for the World Championships and assured themselves of medals by advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Championships here.
Sumit Sangwan (91kg) and Amit Phangal (49kg) were the other two boxers to book a medal as well as a World Championship slot in the first two sessions of the event.
Sumit gave India their first win of the day when he stunned third-seeded Chinese Fengkai Yu 4-1.
The former Asian Olympic Qualifiers’ gold-medallist put his long reach to effective use against an opponent, who was thrown off-balance every time he tried to attack.
Sumit will now face second seed Jakhon Qurbonov of Tajikistan in the semifinals on Friday after a rest day on Thursday. Qurbonov outpunched Pakistan’s Mehmood Sanaullah in his quarterfinal bout.
In the afternoon session Amit Phangal (49kg) gave India a good start by getting the better of fourth seed Cornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia 4-1. Langu, a South East Asian Games gold-medallist, found it tough to keep pace with the Indian.
Although Langu was clearly the more attacking of the two boxers but was mostly found wanting on accuracy.
Amit is up for a tough one in the semifinals, where he will square off against Uzbekistan’s Olympic gold-medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov.
Shiva, assured himself of a third successive Asian Championships medal, by sailing past Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai in his quarterfinal bout.
The 2013 gold-winner and 2015 bronze-medallist, Shiva was clearly the superior of the two boxers. The Indian, who is also a World Championships bronze-medallist, left Lai befuddled with his counter-attacking approach.
The Assam lad will face top seed Chinzorig Baatarsukh in his semifinal clash on Friday.
However, it was heartbreak for Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg), who opened the proceedings for India in the morning session as he lost to second-seeded Chinese Jiawei Zhang.
The Delhi-lad went down 2-3 in a bout marred by excessive clinching and holding. Both the boxers ended up being warned by the referee for their tactics. In the end, Zhang came out triumphant with his clean straight punches even though Bidhuri had also struck some lusty body blows.
However, all is not lost for Bidhuri as he can still claim a place in the August-September World Championships if he beats Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka in the box-off.
Tanaka lost his quarterfinal bout to third seed Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan.