Asian Olympic Boxing Qualifiers: Sakshi Chaudhary enters quarterfinal

#dailynews60 : Former junior world champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) stunned Asian silver-medallist and fourth seed Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand to enter the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for boxing here on Wednesday.

The two-time youth world champion Indian, who is only 19, prevailed in a split verdict against the Asian Games bronze-medallist in an engrossing second-round bout after both the boxers got opening-round byes.

Sakshi will next be up against Korea’s Im Aeji on March 9. Making the semifinals would assure her of a spot in the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July-August this year.

The opening round was fought on even keel for most part but Sakshi managed to be ahead of her fancied rival in a split verdict.

Techasuep came out all guns blazing in the second round and caught Sakshi off-guard with a barrage of combination straight punches.

The Indian was pushed to the backfoot by the aggressive Thai, whose left jab was particularly eye-catching.

But the judges ruled in Sakshi’s favour in a 3-2 second round verdict. In the final three minutes, Saskhi’s counter-attacks proved enough to trump Techasuep’s consistent aggression.

“I stuck to the strategy of counter-attack through the bout and I think she couldn’t handle it. My coaches had told me not to deviate from the plan and I didn’t,” Saskhi said after the bout.

On Tuesday, the seasoned duo of Gaurav Solanki (57kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals in the men’s draw.

Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Solanki defeated two-time Kyrgyz national champion Akylbek Esenbek Uulu, while Asian Championship silver-medallist Ashish got the better of Taiwan’s Kan Chia-Wei.

Ashish will square off against Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu, who has been seeded fourth.

Solanki, whose CWG gold was in the 52kg division, will be up against top-seeded Uzbek Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, who got a bye into the second round.

Mirzakhalilov is the reigning world champion in this weight category besides being a gold-medallist at the 2018 Asian Games as well as the Asian Championships.