Strandja Memorial Boxing | Amit Panghal, Nikhat Zareen in finals; three Indians settle for bronze

Strandja Memorial Boxing | Amit Panghal, Nikhat Zareen in finals; three Indians settle for bronze

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Amit Panghal (49kg) and former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) were among the four Indian boxers who made it to the finals of the 70th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament. Pwilao Basumatari, Neeraj and Lovlina Borgohain settled for bronze medals after losing in the semifinal bouts.

Asian Games gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) and former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) were among the four Indian boxers who made it to the finals of the 70th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Monday. Amit Panghal, who was the lone Indian left in the contention of the men’s draw, defeated Morocco’s Said Mortaji in a split 3-2 verdict to set up the summit clash with Kazakhstan's Temirtas Zhussupov.

Meanwhile, Zhussupov edged past Argentina’s Jose Leandro Blanc in his semi-final clash.

Zareen, who was a two-time national medallist, defeated Poland’s Sandra Drabik 3-2 in an intense see-saw semi-final battle in the tournament in Sofia. Others Indians who made the final stage in the women’s competition were Manju Rani (48kg) and Meena Kumari Devi (54kg).

While Bulgaria’s Emi-Mari Todorova was beaten by Rani, Devi got the better of Russia’s Ekaterina Sycheva. Devi had previously won a bronze medal in the last edition of the tournament which marks the beginning of the European boxing calendar.

However, Pwilao Basumatari (64kg), Neeraj (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze medals after losing their respective semifinal bouts. After Basumatari lost to Italy’s Valentina Alberti, Neeraj was beaten by Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson. Borgohain, a world championships bronze-medalist and India Open gold-winner, was defeated by Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen.

India had won 11 medals at the 2018 edition in which two of them were gold. The performance in the previous edition was also the country’s best ever show at the prestigious tournament.

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