Ekaterinburg (Russia): Indian boxer Amit Panghal’s phenomenal campaign in the men’s world championships ended with a silver medal after he went down to Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in an intense 52kg category final here on Saturday.
Panghal lost 0-5 but the scoreline was hardly a reflection of the fight he put on against the more fancied Zoirov.
In the course of his stupendous run, the second-seeded Indian became the first male boxer from the country to finish second in the world event. The nation achieved its best-ever medal haul of two. Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) had signed off with a bronze after losing in the semifinals earlier.
Once again up against a taller and more muscular opponent, Panghal gave it his all but fell short when it came to connecting accurately. The Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist nonetheless achieved a historic feat.
— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) September 21, 2019
In a bout that was mostly about counter-attack, both Panghal and Zoirov were wary of each other in the opening three minutes.
The action picked up a bit in the second round and Panghal tried hard to capitalize on his rival’s low guard. However, in Zoirov, Panghal met his match in pace and the Uzbek had no trouble dodging Panghal’s lunging efforts.
The final round was when the two boxers decided to attack each other more intensely and even though Panghal was more aggressive, it was Zoirov who managed to land more scoring blows.
The silver here marks a new high for the boxer from Rohtak, who has been simply unstoppable since breaking into the national scene with a bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships.
Zoirov, despite being unseeded here, was always going to be a tough challenge as he also has to his credit silver medals in the Asian Games and the Asian Championships.
Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal at a single edition of the world championship.
The past medal-winners at the big event are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).
This time, India was among nine countries, out of a total of 78, which had their boxers in the finals. Uzbekistan topped the finalists count with four boxers.
“This is a reward for the effort that BFI (Boxing Federation of India) has put into re-modelling the entire structure of the sport so that our boxers get the best of training and can confidently perform on the world stage,” BFI President Ajay Singh said.
“With less than a year to go for the 2020 Olympics, these performances are a major boost. BFI will ensure and encourage them in every possible way so that they can carry this form into Tokyo to bring back medals for the country,” he added.
The just-concluded tournament was to be an Olympic qualifying event but was stripped of that status by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) citing administrative and financial mismanagement in the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Amit Panghal reaches quarterfinals of World Military Games
Wuhan (China): World Championships silver medallist boxer Amit Panghal reached the quarterfinals at the 7th CISM World Military Games.
Panghal beat Tunisia’s Boughanmi Bilel 4-1 in the men’s 52kg category as the boxers continued to impress.
Deepak beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Linh Phung 5-0 in the men’s 49 kg bout to make the last-eight stage.
Chirag won his bout 5-0 against Venezuela’s Bonilla Jhoinen 5-0 in the 56 kg bout.
However, Sanjeet suffered a 0-5 defeat at the hands of China’s Wang Zhibao in the 91kg super heavyweight round of 32 bout.
Earlier, Panghal had beaten Douglas Andrade of Brazil, while Chirag defeated Zambia’s Katanga Christopher in their opening bouts.
India have sent a contingent of 54 participants across nine sports archery, boxing, diving, modern pentathlon, shooting, track and field, gymnastics and tennis in the competition.
India won six medals in the 2015 edition which was held in South Korea.
A total of 9,308 military personnel from 109 countries are competing in the World Military Games here, setting a record of the most participants in the Games’ 24-year history.
The 7th edition offers 25 competitive sports and two demonstration sports. In all, 329 gold medals will be up for grabs.
Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the Games last Friday.
Mary Kom ready to fight Zareen in trials, says it would be a “formality”
New Delhi: “I am not scared to face Nikhat Zareen,” avowed celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom, saying it would just be a “formality” to beat her in the trials for the Olympic qualifiers.
Mary Kom (51kg) found herself embroiled in a controversy with Zareen demanding a trial bout against her before the Indian squad for next year’s Olympic qualifiers is decided.
This was after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) stated that it intends to pick six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg) for the event in China on the back of her recent bronze medal-winning performance at the World Championships in Russia.
“The decision has been taken by BFI. I can’t change the rule. I can just perform. Whatever they decide, I will go with that. I’m not scared to face her, I am fine with the trials,” said Mary Kom on the sidelines of a felicitation program here.
“I have defeated her many times since SAF Games but she keeps challenging me. I mean, what is the point? It is just a formality. BFI also knows who can win a medal at Olympics.”
Mary Kom said “people are jealous of me”.
“It has happened with me in the past also. Perform on the ring, that is the real thing. BFI sends us for exposure trips so comeback with a gold, prove yourself,” she said.
“I am not against her. She might be good in future, let her have the experience and focus on preparation for the highest level. I have been fighting for last 20 years. To challenge is easy but to perform is difficult.”
For selection of men’s team, BFI had decided that the medallists of the World Championships will be sent directly to the first Olympic qualifiers to be held in China.
In women’s competition, BFI had said in August that only the gold and silver winners at the World Championships in Russia would be selected directly for the Olympic qualifiers in February.
However, BFI now has decided to call a selection committee meeting next week to discuss Zareen’s plea.
Mary Kom said there should be gender quality in the selection criteria.
“I don’t care about all this. Let BFI take the decision. There should be gender equality, can’t have separate rules for men and women.”
Sports minister Rijiju to talk to Boxing federation over Nikhat Zareen’s trial demands
New Delhi: Sports minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said he will speak to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) over former junior world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen’s demand for a trial bout against MC Mary Kom before India’s squad for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers is decided.
Rijiju took to Twitter to assure the boxer that he will surely convey her demand to the BFI to take the best decision concerning the interest of the nation, sport and athletes.
He tweeted, “I’ll surely convey to Boxing Federation to take the best decision keeping in mind the best interest of the NATION, SPORTS & ATHLETES.”
Rijiju also mentioned that as per the Olympic Charter, a Minister should not be allowed in the selection of players by the sports federations.
“Although, Minister should not be involved in the selection of the players by the Sports Federations which are autonomous as per OLYMPIC CHARTER,” said Rijiju.
I'll surely convey to Boxing Federation to take the best decision keeping in mind the best interest of the NATION, SPORTS & ATHLETES. Although, Minister should not be involved in the selection of the players by the Sports Federations which are autonomous as per OLYMPIC CHARTER https://t.co/GqIBdtWRMp
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 18, 2019
Mary Kom (51kg) claimed her eighth world medal at the recently-concluded championships in Russia. She was selected for the event ahead of Zareen, who was refused a trial by the BFI, which decided to go by Mary’s consistent performances while making the choice.
Nikhat demanded a fair chance as the basis of sports is fairplay. She wrote, “All I want is a fair chance. If I’m not given the opporunity to compete what am I training for. Sports is about FairPlay & I dont want to loose faith in my country. Jai Hind.”
The BFI plans to send Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers on the back of her bronze-winning show at the world championships, moving away from the previous decision to give direct selection only to the gold and silver winners.
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