Strandja Memorial Boxing: Nikhat, Nitu in semis; assured of medals

NEW DELHI: Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Nitu (48kg) entered the semifinals of the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament but two other Indians bowed out after preliminary stage losses.
While Nikhat defeated England’s Charley Davision 5-0, Nitu pulled off an equally impressive victory by a similar margin against Italy’s Roberta Bonatti.
The 25-year-old Nikhat won a gold medal in the 2019 edition of the event.
With Nikhat and Nitu entering semi-finals, India are now assured of three medals at the Europe’s oldest boxing tournament. On Tuesday, Nandini (+81kg) confirmed the first medal for the country.
Later tonight, reigning youth world champion Arundhati Choudhary (70kg) and Praveen (63kg) will compete in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Sumit Kundu (75kg) and Anamika (50kg) lost their respective preliminary stage bouts.
While Sumit went down 0-5 to the reigning world and European champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the pre-quarters, Anamika lost 1-4 to Algeria’s Roumaysa Boualem in the last-eight stage on Wednesday.
The tournament features over 450 boxers from 36 countries, including traditional powerhouses such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia, France and Ukraine, where Russia launched a military operation on Thursday despite global appeal for restraint.
“So far, we have not noticed any impact of the conflict here. Ukrainian boxers competed yesterday and they are competing even today, the weigh-ins have been completed this morning,” a member of the Indian contingent told PTI over phone. —PTI


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