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India in Asian Games 2023: Boxing — Packing a powerful punch

The Hangzhou Asian Games holds great significance for boxers as it serves as a continental qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics. This event offers more quota places for women boxers, with four semifinalists each for 50kg, 54kg, 57kg, and 60kg, as well as two finalists each for 66kg and 75kg. Hence, the Indian contingent is more optimistic about its female boxers’ prospects.

Reigning world champions Nikhat Zareen (50kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), along with Worlds bronze medallist in 63kg, Parveen Hooda (57kg), and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), have notable achievements. Exciting talents such as Asian bronze medallist Preeti Sai Pawar (54kg) and former World Youth Champion Arundhati Choudhary (66kg) also bring valuable skills.

Nikhat, a two-time World Championships gold medallist, and Lovlina, who clinched a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, were exempt from the selection assessment but did receive some hard training during the preparation period. Both will eye the gold medal.

“Overall, we focused on the technical and tactical sides of the game during our preparations. For our women, who worked really hard and showed a lot of dedication, the stress was on effective punching, including not wasting one’s energy. The target is to win as many quota places and medals as possible,” said head coach C.A. Kuttappa.

Preeti, who received significant acclaim in the World Championships in March, is aiming to fulfil her potential. Meanwhile, Parveen and Arundhati, who have transitioned to lower-weight divisions, are eager to establish themselves in their new categories.

These women, together with the male boxers, participated in a multi-nation sparring camp in Patiala and will join another such camp in China before entering the Games Village. This preparation will enable them to acclimate to facing boxers with varying styles and be prepared for similar challenges during the Games.

In the men’s section, two quota places (finalists) in each weight division — 51kg, 57kg, 63.5kg, 71kg, 80kg, 92 kg, and +92kg — will be up for grabs.

Seasoned pro: Shiva Thapa is perhaps at the top of his game and is working harder than ever to achieve an eye-catching result.

Seasoned pro: Shiva Thapa is perhaps at the top of his game and is working harder than ever to achieve an eye-catching result.
| Photo Credit:
RITU RAJ KONWAR/The Hindu

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Seasoned pro: Shiva Thapa is perhaps at the top of his game and is working harder than ever to achieve an eye-catching result.
| Photo Credit:
RITU RAJ KONWAR/The Hindu

Deepak Bhoria (51kg) and Nishant Dev (71kg), both bronze medallists at the World Championships, Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), a six-time Asian medallist and former Worlds medallist, Sanjeet (92kg), a former Asian champion, and Sachin Siwach (57kg), a former World youth champion, have the potential to succeed in Hangzhou.

Deepak, who defeated Worlds silver medallist and Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal twice during the assessment, and also bagged a Worlds bronze earlier this year, along with Nishant, remain top contenders for medals and quota places. With his giant-killing reputation, Deepak will be a strong contender for gold. Nishant needs to polish his game to make the best use of his natural power. Thapa is perhaps at the top of his game and is working harder than ever to achieve an eye-catching result.

Sachin, with his technical prowess, will seek to capitalise on the opportunity to replace Mohammed Hussamuddin, while Sanjeet, known for his style, must deliver a strong performance to overcome perceptions of being an underperformer. The experienced Narender Berwal (+92kg) and the younger Lakshay Chahar (80kg) would like to boost their profiles.

India, which managed to win a gold and a bronze in the 2018 Asian Games without any contribution from the women’s boxing team, can hope for a more impressive medal haul this time.

The competition is expected to be formidable, with boxers from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, and Mongolia, in addition to strong contenders like Japan, Chinese Taipei, and China, especially in women’s boxing, boasting a solid track record.

SCHEDULE

Asian Games 2022 Boxing Schedule

September 24:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 54kg, Women 60kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 80kg

4:30 PM – 8:00 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 54kg, Women 57kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 80kg, Men 92kg

September 25:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 66kg, Men 51kg, Men 71kg

4:30 PM – 8:00 PM IST — Women 66kg, Men 51kg, Men 71kg

September 26:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 75kg, Men 57kg, Men +92kg

4:30 PM – 8:00 PM IST — Women 75kg, Men 57kg, Men +92kg

September 27:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 92kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 92kg

September 28:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 60kg, Men 51kg, Men 71kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 60kg, Men 51kg, Men 71kg

September 29:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 57kg, Men 80kg, Men 92kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 57kg, Men 80kg, Men 92kg

September 30:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 54kg, Women 75kg, Men 57kg, Men 71kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 54kg, Women 75kg, Men 57kg, Men 71kg

October 1:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 57kg, Women 60kg, Women 66kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 80kg, Men 92kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 57kg, Women 60kg, Women 66kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 80kg, Men 92kg

October 3:

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM IST — Women 50kg, Women 54kg, Women 75kg, Men 51kg, Men 71kg

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM IST — Women 60kg, Men 57kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 92kg, Men +92kg

October 4:

11:30 AM – 2:00 PM IST — Women 54kg, Women 57kg, Women 75kg, Men 51kg, Men 80kg

4:30 PM – 7:00 PM IST — Women 60kg, Women 66kg, Men 57kg, Men 63.5kg, Men 71kg

Venue: Hangzhou Gymnasium

SQUAD

WOMEN

Nikhat Zareen (51kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Arundhati Chaudhary (66kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg)

MEN

Men: Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Sachin Siwach (57kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg), Lakshya Chahar (80kg), Sanjeet 92kg, Narender Berwal (+92kg)

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