AIBA Olympic Qualifiers | Devendro Singh and Vikas Krishan close in on Rio berth

AIBA Olympic Qualifiers | Devendro Singh and Vikas Krishan close in on Rio berth

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After Manoj Kumar and Sumit Sangwan reached the quarters of the AIBA World Qualifying Tournament, Devendro Singh booked his place in the semis of the 49kg category, and Vikas Krishan (75kg category) reached the quarters on Tuesday in Azerbaijan. Devendro is now assured of a medal in this tournament.

Fourth seed Devendro dominated his bout against the South African pugilist Bandla Sibusiso 3-0, and will now be the favorite to reach the final, when he takes on Samuel Heredia in the semi-final. Despite being assured of a medal, Devendro needs to reach the final of the tournament in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics. There are only two quotas up for grabs in the 49kg category, which will be provided to the two finalists of the event.

However, despite his higher rankings, Devendro will have to be at his best against his Spanish opponent, who knocked out the top seed Ukrainian Dmytro Zamotaev in his quarter-final bout.

The day ended on another positive note for India as second-seeded Vikas Krishan also booked his place in the quarters of the 75kg category after defeating Georgia's Kvachatadze Zaal 3-0 on Tuesday. He will now take on Korea's Lee Dongyun in the quarters, with a place in Rio up for grabs.

"Vikas dominated all three rounds and did not have to work too hard for this win. The Georgian guy tried his best but Vikas kept his composure and in the end it was easy for him," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.

Earlier, Manoj Kumar (64 kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81 kg) won their last-16 bouts to come within touching distance of getting an Olympic berth. Shiva Thapa, of bantamweight category, is the only Indian boxer to have earned a spot for the Rio Olympics so far.

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