Four Indian boxers including Assam’s Lovlina book Olympic berths

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AMMAN (JORDAN), March 8 (AGENCIES): Four Indian boxers, including the seasoned duo of Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Assam’s Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) secured Tokyo Olympic berths on Sunday by advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Qualifiers with contrasting quarterfinal victories here.

The boxers became the first set of Indian boxers to qualify for the showpiece scheduled in July-August this year.

While fourth-seeded Rani notched up a facile 5-0 win over Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee, Krishan endured a tough one against third-seeded Japanese Sewonrets Okazawa before also prevailing in a unanimous verdict against the Asian silver-medallist.

In the evening session, two-time world bronze-winner and second seed Borgohain eased past Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva to enter the semifinals. Also through to the last-four stage was Asian silver-medallist Kumar with a 5-0 win over Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd Muskita, the bout being tougher than what the final scoreline might suggest.

“I managed to execute whatever I had planned. I wanted to fight from a distance and counter-attack, which I could do. Just qualifying is not enough, I want to now win a gold medal,” a jubilant Borgohain, who hails from Assam, said after her bout.

However, first-timer Sachin Kumar (81kg) went down in a split decision to China’s national champion Daxaing Chen in his quarterfinal bout.

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