Amit Panghal to Spearhead India's Challenge at World Championships, Shiva Thapa Misses Out
India named Amit Panghal, Kavinder Singh Bisht, Duryodhan Singh Negi, Ashish Kumar, Brijesh Yadav, Sanjeet, and Satish Kumar as part of the eight-member squad for the World Boxing Championships.
New Delhi: Amit Panghal rode on his Asian Championships gold to get a direct entry, while Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik edged past Shiva Thapa in India's eight-strong squad for the World Boxing Championships in September.
Manish claimed the newly-created 63kg category spot in the team ahead of four-time Asian medallist Shiva in the national trials for the big event to be held in Ekaterinburg, Russia from September 7 to 21.
Amit (52kg) was given a place in the squad for winning gold at the Asian Championships which was the original criterion for selection.
Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg), Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Brijesh Yadav (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg), and Satish Kumar (+91kg) joined him through trials held at NIS Patiala last weekend.
Only the top two boxers from each of the categories were eligible for the trials with their recent performances being the criteria for selecting the face-off names, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) said in a statement.
Manish claimed a split verdict over the 2015 World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva. Shiva had avenged his 2018 India Open loss to Manish at this year's edition in Guwahati to claim the gold.
"This was a huge confidence-boosting win for me after losing to Shiva in the India Open final. I had been working hard on my stance and footwork since the loss and I am glad it paid off. I am looking forward to giving my best at the World Championships," Manish said.
In the 57kg category, Asian Championships silver-medallist Kavinder edged Mohammed Hussamuddin in a split verdict to claim his place.
Kavinder had made a splash in his maiden appearance at the last World Championships in 2017 when he upset two-time World Championships medallist Mohamed Flissi of Algeria to advance to the quarter-finals.
"I lost out on a golden opportunity to win a medal the last time. This time I would like to make amends and am targeting nothing less than a gold," said Kavinder.
In 75kg, Ashish Kumar outpunched Prayag Chauhan to claim a unanimous victory. Duryodhan Singh Negi defeated Ashish Kulhari in the 69kg category in a split verdict.
Brijesh Yadav re-asserted his supremacy in 81kg by beating Harsh Lakra while Sanjeet dominated CWG bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar in the 91kg category.
Satish Kumar did not have to enter the ring for the +91kg bout with his opponent, Naveen suffering an injury.
India will be eager to improve upon their performance from the last World Championships where they won a bronze through Gaurav Bidhuri.
The big event was to double up as an Olympic qualifier but was stripped off that status after the International Olympic Committee decided to bar the International Boxing Association (AIBA) from conducting the competition in the 2020 Olympics due to governance and financial mismanagement issues.
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