Olympic qualifiers: Indian boxers off to a losing start

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Manoj Kumar

Olympic qualifiers: Indian boxers off to a losing start

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Arun S Kaimal

03/27/2016

India’s campaign at the Asia Oceania boxing qualifiers got off to a disappointing start on Friday with all three Indians in the fray crashing out in the opening round. Ex-Commonwealth Games champion Manoj Kumar, Sumit Sangwan and Pooja Rani were all defeated in the opening round.

After arriving at Qian'an, China with almost no preparation and no national body, Indian boxers got off to an expected disappointing start at the Asia Oceania boxing qualifiers. Manoj Kumar, who was an Olympian in London, was the first to bow out after losing out Kazakhstan's 19-year-old Abylaykhan Zhussupov 3-0 in the Men’s Light Welterweight class. In the Men’s Light Heavyweight class, Sumit Sangwan, who was coming back from a lengthy injury lay-off, found it hard to stand up to the level of his opponent and lost 3-0 to Korea's Yang Hee Geun.

In the women’s event, which is being held simultaneously, Pooja Rani also bowed out of the tournament after losing to Tajikistan's Shoira Zulkaynarova to round off a poor opening day for the country's pugilists.

A total of five Indian pugilists will be in action on Sunday, including 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and top seed M C Mary Kom. Former Asian champion L Sarita Devi and 2011 World Boxing championship bronze medallist Vikas Krishan will also be in action on Sunday, along with Satish Kumar and Dheeraj Rangi.  

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