The Youth Boxing World Championships is taking place in Kielce, Poland.© AFP
India’s Poonam entered the semifinals of the featherweight (57kg) category while five of her compatriots advanced to the quarterfinals of the Youth Boxing World Championships after securing comfortable wins in their last-16 stage bouts in Kielce, Poland. Poonam, who has never lost a bout during her entire career so far, eliminated Kazakhstan’s Nazerke Serik by unanimous decision in the quarter-finals on Sunday. She will next face a tough opponent in Sitora Turdibekova of Uzbekistan. Poonam attributed her success to her coaches and exuded confidence of returning with the gold medal from the ongoing tournament.
“They pushed me, they told me to work hard. And I won because my coaches are very good. My tactic was to attack and then defend. I will win the gold,” she said.
Among other women, Gitika (48kg) made the last eight on Saturday.
From the men’s contingent, Asian silver-medallist Ankit Narwal (64kg), Bishwamitra Chongtham (49kg), Sachin (56kg) and Vishal Gupta (91kg) stood just one win away from ensuring a medal for the country.
However, the campaign ended for Nisha Gurjar (64kg) after a 1-4 loss to Latvia’s Beatrise Rozentale.
Earlier, Gitika defeated Kazakhstan’s Arailym Marat 5-0. Chongtham got the better of Mahdi Kohsroshahi by a similar margin before Sachin got the better of David Jimenez Valdez.
His was also a unanimous victory. Narwal went past Poland’s Oliwier Zamojski 4-1, while Vishal out-punched Croatia’s Borna Loncaric in his pre-quarterfinal bout. India have fielded a 20-member team — 10 men and as many women — in the competition featuring 414 boxers from 52 countries.
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