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World Olympic Boxing Qualifier: India’s horrid run continues as Lakshya Chahar becomes fourth Indian to crash out

Reigning national champion Lakshya Chahar became the fourth Indian boxer to crash out in the opening round of the first World Olympic Boxing Qualifier.

Competing in the men’s 80kg event, Chahar was knocked out in the third round by 2021 Asian Championships silver medallist Gheshlaghi Meysam of Iran on Monday.

Having lost the first round 2-3, Chahar got himself back in the game by taking the second round 3-2. He was level on three cards heading into the final three minutes.

However with 20 seconds left for the bout to end, Meysam, who was playing in close proximity, connected a powerful right hook to knock the Indian out.

All four Indian boxers, who have taken the ring so far, have failed to move to the second round.

World Championships bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Narender Berwal (+92kg) and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) all lost their respective first rounds.

Five Indian boxers, including world championships bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamudin and six-time Asian Championships medal winner Shiva Thapa, are still in the fray for earning Paris Olympic quotas. A semifinal finish will ensure a quota.

Thapa will open his campaign against reigning world champion Ruslan Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in the opening round of the men’s 63.5kg category, while Dev will go up against 2022 European Championships silver medallist Lewis Richardson of Great Britain in the 71kg division.

India has secured four 2024 Olympic quotas so far with Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) clinching their entry to Paris at the Asian Games last year.

India had nine boxers competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Boxers who fail to earn quotas here will get a final chance to seal their passage to the Paris Olympics during the second World Olympic Boxing Qualifier, scheduled to be held in Bangkok from May 23 to June 3.

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