World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (64kg) lived up to the top billing as he continued with his menacing form with 2017 Asian Championship bronze medallist Shiksha leading the charge in the womens category, as seven Indian boxers entered the finals at the ongoing 13th South Asian Games here in Nepal on Saturday.
Sachin Siwach (56kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg), Vinod Tanwar (49kg) and Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) were the other four Indian male boxers to enter the finals while S Kalaivani progressed to the women’s (48kg) final.
Youth world champion Siwach defeated Naqueebullah of Pakistan with a 5-0 verdict. Khatana also bagged the fight with a similar margin against Hossain Mohammad Arif of Pakistan. Despite the crowd support, local boy Sushil Thapa failed to produce any resistance as Tanwar marched into the final with a unanimous nod from the judges. Chauhan too defeated Arjun Sigu of Nepal with a scoreline of 5-0.
Earlier, Kaushik put up a good show right from the start of the fight and thoroughly dominated during his semi-final bout against Sri Lanka’s Ponnawila Vidanalage D to register a commanding 5-0 victory.
In the women’s category, young and aspiring boxer Kalaivani, playing the first bout of the day, displayed good attacking prowess during her win over Bhutan’s Tandin Lhamo. Compatriot Shiksha, the 2016 national champion outpunched her Sri Lankan opponent by a similar margin of 5-0.
Eight India boxers, including five men — Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg), Vikash Krishan (69kg), Sachin (81kg) and Narender (+91kg) — and three women Pinki Rani (51kg), Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg), will be seen in action during their semi-final bouts on Sunday. Praveen (60kg) is already in the finals by virtue of the draw. The finals will be held on Monday.