Boxer Monika (48kg) upstaged two-time World Championship medallist Josie Gabuco of the Philippines to enter the semifinals along with two other Indians at the Thailand Open on Monday. Ashish Kumar (81kg) and Manisha (57kg) are the two other Indian pugilists who also made their way into the last four with contrasting wins against their respective Thai opponents. The 26-year-old Monika, who hails from Rohtak, prevailed 4-1 over experienced campaigner Gubuco, who won gold and bronze medals at the World Championships in 2012 and 2008 respectively.
She will now face Vietnam’s Trinh Thi Diem Kieu, who received bye in the last round.
Competing in his first international tournament since the Tokyo Olympics, last edition’s gold medallist Ashish notched a 5-0 win against local boxer Aphisit Khankhokkhruea in the 81kg quarterfinals. The Indian will now clash win Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd Muskita in the semifinals.
It was a good day in the ring for Manisha, who recently qualified for the upcoming World Championships as well as Asian Games, as she defeated two-time Youth Asian champion Thailand’s Porntip Buapa 3-2 in the 57kg quarterfinals.
However, Renu (54kg) and Monika (63kg) lost their opening round clashes.
While Renu gave a tough fight to Italy’s European U-22 champion Sirine Charaabi, it wasn’t enough as the Indian lost 2-3 in the quarterfinal clash.
Monika, on the other hand, went down in the quarterfinals, losing to Youth Olympic champion local boxer Panpatchara Somnuek by RSC verdict (Refree Stops Contest) in the third round.
On the third day of the competition on Tuesday, Sumit and Gaurav Chauhan will play their quarter-finals against respective opponents from Kazakhstan. Sumit (75kg), who received bye in the last opening round, will take on Timur Nurseitov while Gaurav (91kg) will fight against 2018 Youth Olympics champion Aibek Oralbay.
The tournament features 130 boxers — 74 male and 56 females. Gold medal winners will earn USD 2000, while silver and bronze winners will pocket USD 1000 and USD 500 respectively.
The Indian contingent had won eight medals, including one gold, four silver and three bronze, in the last edition of the tournament, held in 2019.
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