World Youth Boxing: Best ever display by Indian girls

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Keeping their high expectations intact, eight Indian women youth pugilists entered the semi-finals in the ongoing AIBA Youth Women and Men World Championships at Budapest on Tuesday. Thus, all of them ensured themselves of a medal each at least. There are strong indications that girls will be finishing with the precious metals to celebrate.

Anamika, who started the Indian campaign in the morning, began with a fantastic win over her Italian rival Martina La Piano with a 4:1 verdict in 51 kg class and also ensure her a bronze medal at least. She would be next taking on Thai opponent Kittiya Nampai, who won 5-0 against her Korean rival.

It was even better for Jony in 60 kg who outclassed Chinese Chen Yibing with a 5:0 verdict as the Chinese took the pounding without any reply. But the Indian, a National Champions of 2018, slowed down in the second round kept herself out of harm’s way to romp home winners. Jony will now meet Russian Nune Asatrian in the next round.

Asian Youth Championship Gold Medalist, Manisha, who drowned her Slovak rival Miroslava Jedinakova, for what had turned out in favour of India with a 4:1 verdict in 64 kg. In the semi-final contest, she will be up against Veronika Villas of Hungary.

But the win by Sakshi, the gold medal winner at the India edition of the event last year, was even more sweeter as she beat the stuffing out of her tall Russian opponent Valeriia Rodionova, the Indian led all through in the 57-kg category, getting unanimous verdicts from all the five judges in her favour. She is slated to clash with American Isamary Aquino.

The 2017 gold medal winner Nitu showed why she is the best in her class (48 kg) when she knocked out Maxi Koltzer of Germany to have a semifinal showdown against Kazakh’s Anel Kudaibergen in the light-fly category later tonight.

Earlier, Astha Pahawa defeated Albania’s Selaj Elsidita, 4:1. The Indian had finished with a bronze medal at the last edition of the world meet held at home.

Meanwhile, both Sakshi Umesh in 81 kg (light heavy class) and Neha Yadav, who competes in +81, which is heavy category walked straight into the semifinals and they began their campaign later tonight. Their direct entry had already assured them a bronze medal each in their weight categories.

However, two boys—Bhavesh Kattimani in 52 kg and Ankit in 60 kg—lost their bouts with identical split decisions of  2:3 and settled for the bronze medals.

The Indian girls, who finished with five gold medals in the India edition, would be hoping for repeat performances out of seven medals. They had set a record then and hopefully they would return with even bigger haul.

India has sent a total of 18 players, including 10 girls and 8 boys to the Hungarian capital, registering highest ever qualification in India and second highest in Asia.