AIBA Olympic Qualifiers | Vikas Krishan and Manoj Kumar qualify for Olympics

AIBA Olympic Qualifiers | Vikas Krishan and Manoj Kumar qualify for Olympics

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Indian pugilists Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics on Thursday after entering the semi-finals of the AIBA World Qualifying Tournament in Baku in the 64kg and 75kg category respectively. Both Manoj and Vikas are now assured of a medal in the tournament.

Indian boxing fans started the day with the disappointing news about MC Mary Kom being denied a wild card entry to the Olympics. But, Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan brought the smile back to their faces after securing their spots in the quadrennial event.

Manoj defeated Tajikistan's Rakhimov Shakvakatdzhon 3-0 in the 64 kg light welter category to enter the semis, while Vikas defeated Korea's Lee Dongyun 3-0 in the 75 kg middleweight category.

"Given the terrible state in which boxing is right now, I am relieved to have qualified for the Games. There was lot of pressure on the team which is competing here and I am glad that came good," Manoj said, reported PTI.

Praising Manoj’s performance, national coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said, "Manoj dominated all three rounds and boxed intelligently to win and qualify for the Games."

This will be the second Olympic appearance for both Manoj and Vikas, who had participated in the 2012 London Olympics. After Manoj and Vikas’ qualification, India now has three representatives in boxing at the Rio Olympics. Shiva Thapa, of bantamweight category, had qualified for the Olympics back in April through the Asian Qualifiers.

Sumit Sangwan in the 81kg category and Devendro Singh in the 49kg category are also in the fray to secure an Olympic berth.  

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