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New Delhi, March 9, 2020
Asian Games champion Amit Panghal (52kg) defeated Carlo Paalam of The Philippines 4-1 to move into the semi-finals of the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan today and, in the process, secured the sixth quota place for India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Panghal had earlier beaten his opponent in the semi-finals of the 2018 Asian Games and the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Championships as well.
The familiarity helped him stave off a late resistance from the Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and book his Olympic berth for the very first time.
“I had played my opponent twice and had beaten him as well. I came with a lot of confidence to get the win this time too. I executed whatever strategy my coaches had chalked out. I am glad that gave me the win as well as the Olympic quota. In the next round, I play a Chinese boxer whom I have beaten before at the Asian Championships. The aim is to repeat it and move into the final,” said the World Championships silver medalist after the win.
World Championships bronze medalist Manish Kaushik (63kg), meanwhile, went down 2-3 to third seed and Asian Games silver medalist Chinzorig Baatarsukh of Mongolia in a hard-fought quarter-final.
Kaushik can still fulfil his Olympic dream as with 6 boxers qualifying from 63kg, he will get once more chance with a box-off opportunity, where the losing quarterfinalist players will have yet another shot.
In his quest, Manish will face Harrison Garside of Australia in the box-off bout on 11th and a win there will secure his Olympic quota.
It was however, the end of the road in the Asian Qualifiers for former world youth champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) who was blanked 0-5 by Korea's Im Aeji in the quarter-finals.