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New Delhi, March 4, 2020
Teenager Sakshi Choudhary (57kg) stunned fourth seed Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand 4-1 to keep her hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics alive at the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan today.
Former world youth champion Sakshi, who reached the quarter-finals with this victory, is now just a win away from booking her ticket to Tokyo.
The 19-year-old Indian displayed remarkable speed in the opening round as she took time to gauge her opponent and 2019 Asian Championships silver medallist.
The Thai’s left-hand punches made the difference in a tight first round and she carried that momentum to rain down blows on Sakshi who visibly struggled in the face of the onslaught. But the strategy worked brilliantly for the young Indian as she saved her best for the last. Having conserved her energy in the second round, she looked the fresher of the two in the final round. A patient Sakshi intelligently used her right hand to counter the attack and that slowed down the Thai before she ran away with the win.
"I knew she is a strong boxer but we had planned it well, coaches had advised me to use counter-tactics against her and that really worked and I could land my punches cleanly on her," said the 19-year-old pugilist.
Sakshi, a 2017 World Youth Champion, will now take on IM Aeji of Korea, yet another youth world champion in 60kg category from the 2017 World Youth Championships in Guwahati.