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Nikhat Zareen Begins Asian Games 2023 Campaign With Dominant Win; Preeti Pawar cruises to Quarterfinals


Two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen stamped her authority in the women’s 50kg by registering a dominant 5-0 win over Vietnam’s Thi Tam Nguyen while Preeti Pawar (54kg) moved to the quarterfinals of the Asian Games on Sunday. In a rematch of March’s world championship final, Zareen once again defeated two-time Asian Champion Nguyen by unanimous decision to move to the pre-quarters. Putting up a dominating show, talented Indian boxer Preeti notched up a an RSC win over Jordan’s Silina Alhasanat. One of only four boxers to not get a first round bye in the 50kg event despite being the reigning world champion, Zareen controlled the proceedings from the word go.

(Asian Games 2023 Complete Schedule | Complete Medals Tally)

In the opening two rounds Zareen landed accurate punches, rattling her opponent.

Such was her power that the referee was forced to give Nguyen the eight count twice in 30 seconds in the opening round.

Nguyen tried to attack in the second round but Zareen retaliated with strong combination punches, forcing a third eight count upon the Vietnamese boxer.

With her work done, Zareen conserved energy in the final three minutes, defending beautifully with the help of her nimble footwork.

Zareen will face Chorong Bak of South Korea in the Round of 16 while a tough bout awaits Preeti. The Indian teenager will have to fight seasoned Kazakh boxer and three-time worlds medallist Zhaina Shekerbekova Earlier, the 19-year-old Preeti dominated her Jordanian opponent, winning the bout by RSC (referee stops contest).

Preeti, who made the pre-quarterfinals of the World Championships earlier this year, is now one bout away from assuring herself of a medal and an Olympic quota.

Playing a strategic bout, Preeti started the contest on a defensive mode before unleashing her attacking game.

After a sedate start, the Indian went on the offensive and landed perfect jabs and hooks to win the opening two rounds easily.

After showing promise initially, Silina faded away and looked at sea as the referee gave her two standing counts in the second and third rounds before stopping the contest. PTI APA SSC AT AT AT

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