Shiva makes winning start

Bangkok: Shiva Thapa inched closer to adding a record fourth medal by entering the 60kg pre-quarterfinals while six other Indians advanced to the last-eight stage in the Asian Boxing Championships here on Saturday.
Thapa secured a thrilling 4-1 win over Korea’s Kim Wonho and is now a couple of wins away from a medal to add to the gold, bronze and silver he won in 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions respectively.
The Assam pugilist will next take on Kyrgyzstan’s Seitbek Uulu for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday. 2018 World Championships bronze winner Lovlina Borgohain began her medal quest in an impressive fashion, outpunching Vietnam’s Tran Thi Linh 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals. Up next on Monday for the 2019 Strandja Cup bronze medallist is a stiff challenge in the form of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin, to whom the Indian lost to in the semi-finals of the World Championships in New Delhi last year.
National champion and Makran Cup gold medallist Deepak continued his good form at this elite event with yet another commanding 5-0 win over Sri Lanka’s Mutunaka Pedi Gedara. Winner of two King’s Cup medals in Thailand, Rohit Tokas (64kg) displayed his speed and alertness in his 5-0 thrashing of Afghanistan’s Nooristani Mohammad Khaibar to enter the last-eight. Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) brought his gold medal-winning form from the GeeBee boxing tournament to open with a commanding 5-0 victory over Japan’s Subaru Murata. In contrast, Ashish Kumar (75kg) had to dig deep to beat China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke in a 3-2 split verdict in an absorbing pre-quarter-final contest. 21-year-old Manisha Moun (54kg) of Haryana made a promising start to her campaign with a unanimous 5-0 win over Vietnam’s Do Nha Uyen to enter the quarterfinals.
The only loss of the day for the Indian contingent was in women’s 48kg where debutant Nitu succumbed to a 1-4 defeat to Taipei’s Pin Meng-Chieh. On Sunday, all eyes will be on Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) as he begins his challenge against Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei.
Amit, likely to face reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals, has been oozing confidence as he began the 2019 season with a gold medal at the Strandja Cup boxing tournament.
Ashish (69 kg) and Brijesh Yadav (81kg) too will be in action on Sunday. On the women’s side, four-time Asian Championships gold medallist Sarita Devi (60kg) will start her hunt for a sixth medal from this tournament when she enters the ring against Korea’s Gwon Sujin. (PTI)