Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Jaismine Lamboria and Mohammed Hussamuddin registered convincing victories to advance to the next round of their respective weight categories as boxing competitions at the 36th National Games kicked off at the Mahatma Mandir.
Flanked by former world championship medalist Shiva Thapa, Lovlina walked into the ring amidst cheers from the sizeable crowd, more so from the Assam contingent, and took firm control of the bout against Nishi Bharadwaj in the 75kg category. The difference in class was pretty evident between the opponents from either corner, with Nishi’s short frame making it even more difficult for her to connect the punches and the judge had to stop the fight.
Returning from a nose injury, Lovlina warmed up for the tougher bouts ahead with a flurry of punches that connected right on the Bihar pugilist’s face, to eventually clinch the contest in style.
Earlier, in the women’s lightweight 60kg category bout, Haryana’s Jaismine dominated Telangana’s Manasa Matterparthi in a unanimous 5-0 verdict.
Similarly, Telangana’s Hussamuddin, representing Services, made light work of Uttar Pradesh opponent Satish Kumar to record a 5-0 unanimous verdict. Later after the contest, Hussamuddin said, “There was little time to specially prepare for the National Games, as we had the trials for the Asian Championship on September 15 and 16, which meant we had very little time after the Commonwealth Games.”
“It was a relatively easier opening bout today, but we have two big names in Rohit Mor (Delhi) and Sachin Siwach (Haryana) in the same category. The competition level will heat up from here on,” he added.
Rohit, who was also in action in the Featherweight (57kg) category, came back from a sluggish start in the first round to register a split decision 4-1 victory over Maharastra Rushikesh Goud. In the other contest of the category, Mizoram’s Lallawmawma and Himachal Pradesh’s Ashish Kumar also registered victories.
In men’s lightweight 60kg category, Delhi boy Ritik opened his campaign with a stunning knockout win in the first round over local lad Ankit Mayaram Nishad, while Himachal’s Jitender Thakur also made it a sweet outing for himself with a 5-0 unanimous verdict. In men’s light heavyweight 80kg division, Madhya Pradesh’s Abhinav Bhargav and Rajasthan’s Sumit Poonia advanced to the next round in contrasting styles. While Bhargav recorded a split decision 3-2 win, Poonia registered a stunning 5-0 win over Mizoram’s C Lalduhawma.
In the men’s heavyweight 92kg category, Haryana’s Naveen Kumar recorded a split decision 4-1 victory in the opening round. Former national champion Narender representing the Services walked away with a 5-0 victory over Uttar Pradesh’s Vishal Yadav in a one-sided affair of the super heavyweight +92kg category. In the same division, Uttarakhand’s Sagar Singh also made it to the next round.
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