Deepak Kumar defeated Bulgaria’s Darislav Vasilev 5-0 to reach the semifinals.© AFP
Asian Silver medal winner Deepak Kumar (52kg) entered the semifinals with a comfortable win to be assured of a medal, and a clash with reigning Olympic and world champion Shakhobiddin Zoirov at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Deepak defeated Bulgaria’s Darislav Vasilev 5-0 to reach the last-four stage and assure India of a second medal at the event. Zoirov, also a silver-medallist at the Asian Games and the championships, claimed a facile 5-0 win over American Anthony Herrera.
However, it was a largely disappointing day for the Indians with former youth world champion Jyoti Gulia (51kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg) bowing out of the women’s competition. With their loss, India’s challenge in the women’s draw has come to an end without anyone managing to secure a medal.
Manjeet Singh (+91kg), in the men’s draw, also made his exit from the tournament. Gulia, who defeated two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay in the quarterfinals, went down 0-5 to Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc.
Kachari also lost by the same margin to American Naomi Graham. Manjeet was beaten by Armenia’s Gurgen Hovhannisyan.
Earlier in the competition, Naveen Boora (69kg) made the semifinals by defeating Brazil’s Eravio Edson in his quarterfinal bout. India won three medals at the previous edition of the event (one silver and two bronze).
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