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Boxing: Vikas, Akash move to heavier weights for Asian Games selection

World championships medallists Vikas Krishan and Akash Kumar are among those who have switched weight divisions for the trials to prune boxers for the Hangzhou Asian Games selection.

The trials will be followed by assessment and evaluation over three weeks to pick the Indian men’s boxing team for the continental event, which will serve as an Olympic qualifier.

Since 75kg is not part of the 2024 Paris Olympics, Vikas, who competed in 69kg in two Olympics and in 75kg once apart from boxing as a professional, has gone up to 80kg.

Akash, who medalled in 54kg at the 2021 World championships, has moved to 57kg.

The presence of several well-known boxers will make 57kg one of the most competitive weights. World youth champions Sachin Siwach and Sachin Siwach Jr. (who returned to 57kg after competing in 54kg for some time following his appendicitis surgery last year), three-time National champion in 60kg Varinder Singh and National Games champion in 60kg Etash Muhammad Khan have entered their names in this weight.

In 51kg, Worlds silver medallist Amit Panghal, National champion Bishwamitra Chongtham and Asian bronze medallist Govind Sahani, who changed weight after competing in 48kg at the World championships, are the prominent boxers.

Sumit Kundu and Akash Sangwan have shifted to 71kg. Sumit, an Asian medallist, came down from 75kg, while National Games gold medallist Akash went up from 67kg.

Worlds medallist Manish Kaushik will continue in 63.5kg.

Former Asian champion Sanjeet (92kg), Commonwealth Games medallist Sagar Ahlawat (+92kg) and Olympian Satish Kumar (+92kg) will also stick to their respective weights.

Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg), Naveen Kumar (92kg) and Narender Berwal (+92kg) – who competed in Olympic weight classes at the Tashkent World championships last month – are exempt from the trials. They will directly participate in the assessment and evaluation process.

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