In a stellar display of skill and determination, reigning Asian Junior champions Nisha (52kg) and Akansha (70kg) secured medals, leading a formidable contingent of Indian pugilists who confirmed their places on the podium during the seventh day of the IBA Junior World Boxing Championships 2023 in Yerevan, Armenia.
The Indian girls showcased their dominance as all five boxers in action emerged victorious, advancing to the semifinals. Akansha (70kg) started the day aggressively, but her Uzbekistan counterpart, Kurbonboeva Rayhona, posed a challenge with a counterattack. Despite the setback, Akansha claimed victory with a 4-1 split decision. Nisha (52kg) exhibited her strength against Grace Conway of Ireland, securing a unanimous 5-0 decision. Shrushti displayed prowess in the 63kg category, winning comfortably as the referee stopped the contest in round two against Mariia Kazaova of Russia. Kritika (75kg) mirrored the dominance, preventing Melendez Sanchez of Mexico from settling down and winning the bout by referee stopping the contest in round one. Vini (57kg) advanced to the semis with a walkover as her opponent Nunez Naiomi of Trinidad and Tobago conceded.
While the girls excelled, the boys had a mixed day. Three out of the five competing boxers progressed to the final four. Hemant Sangwan (80+kg) and Sikandar (48kg) exhibited exceptional performances, winning with identical 5-0 decisions against Bachevvski Roselin of Bulgaria and Urmanov Ramzidin of Kyrgyzstan, respectively. In the 75kg quarterfinals, Sahil faced a tough challenge from Ruslan Esanov of Uzbekistan but secured a 3-2 split decision victory, showcasing impressive quick movements and decision-making. However, M. Kabiraj Singh (63kg) and Rahul Kundu (70kg) faced defeats in the quarterfinals.
With eight more medals added, India’s total medal count now stands at an impressive 17, with Megha (80kg) having already confirmed a medal after receiving a bye in the initial two rounds. A total of 17 Indian boxers, including 12 girls, are set to compete in the semifinals, reflecting the nation’s prowess on the international boxing stage.