Four Indian pugilists were in action on Friday at Astana and three of them made it through to the pre-quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championship. Pooja Rani, Sonia Lather and Zareen Nikhat won their respective bouts, while Meena Rani became the first Indian to be knocked out of the competition.
In the afternoon session, Zareen Nikhat won 2-1 against Bianca “Bam Bam” Elmir of Australia in a closely fought matchup in women's bantam division (54 kg). One of the judges adjudged Zareen as the clear winner at 39-37, while the remaining two handed them equal points at 38-38. When it came to choosing their preferred winner, one of them chose Zareen, while the other chose Bianca, hence handing over the Indian pugilist a thrilling victory. Zareen will next face Canada's Erica Adjei on Sunday.
In the women's feather division (57 kg) India's Sonia Lather produced a convincing performance against Gundegmaa Myagmar of Mongolia. Sonia raced to a 3-0 win with all the three judges unanimously announcing her the winner at 40-36. She will face Germany's Nomin Deutsch in the next round.
The evening session did not start well for India with Meena Rani losing 0-3 to Germany's Nadine Apetz in the women's welter division (69 kg), however, 25-year-old Pooja Rani went through to the next round in women's middle weight division (75 kg) with a 3-0 win over Ukraine's Mariya Borutsa. She will taken on Great Britain's Savannah Marshall in the next round.