Boxing: India assured of 4 medals as Nikhat, Lovlina and two others enter Worlds semis

Nitu lands a punch on Madoka Wada. Photo: PTI/Gurinder Osan

New Delhi: Tournament favourites Nikhat Zareen and Lovlina Borgohain lived up to expectations as they secured medals for India with quarterfinal wins, alongside two other home boxers at the ongoing Women's Boxing World Championships here on Wednesday.

Competing in new weight classes, reigning champion Nikhat (50kg) eked out a 5-2 win over Thailand's Chuthamat Raksat to secure her second world's medal and then Lovlina (75kg) added a third medal in her kitty with a 5-0 win over Adosinda Rady Gramane of Mozambique.

Apart from the duo, Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) and the seasoned Saweety Boora (81kg) also moved to the semifinals.

For India, however, it was a roller coaster day as four pugilists -- Sakshi Choudhary (52kg), last edition's bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg), CWG bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) failed to move to the last four stage.

While Sakshi lost to Yu Wu of China 0-5, Manisha was outplayed by a 1-4 margin by Amina Zidani of France.

Like last year, Jaismine faltered in the quarterfinal stage once again, falling 0-5 to Colombia's Paola Valdez. Nupur went down fighting to Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan 3-4 after a bout review.

Nikhat and Lovlina march on
Nikhat had to dig deep to get a favourable decision against two-time world championships bronze medallist. She attacked cautiously in the first two rounds hitting clean punches.

"I aimed to play from a long range but there was a lot of clinching so my body got a little tired. All the bouts I have had till now were powerful but for me, it's been a good experience to keep moving forward and defeating them so hopefully I will keep moving forward like this and fight for my country," she said.

The Indian used her left-right hands in tandem to pummel her experienced opponent in the first two rounds but became a little subdued in the final round as the bout was sent for review.

Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semifinals.

Lovlina, who has endured a rough patch since winning the Olympics bronze, put up a much better performance than her previous round as she controlled the proceedings.

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