Friday, December 8, 2023

Boxers Lovlina, Nikhat, Pooja make cut for World Championships

Lovlina, Nikhat Zareen, Pooja Rani in team for World Championships

NEW DELHI, March 9: Tokyo Olympics bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain (70kg) on Wednesday made the cut for the women’s world championships to be held in Istanbul in May after three days of trials at the end of which some other seasoned campaigners like Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Pooja Rani (81kg) also qualified for the event.
This will be Borgohain’s first competitive outing after her podium finish in the 69kg category in Tokyo, which no longer exists in International Boxing Association (IBA) events.
Borgohain defeated youth world champion Arundhati Choudhary, who had approached the Delhi High Court protesting the automatic selection given to the Assam star at the time when the world event was scheduled in December last year.
The tournament was eventually postponed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and is being held from May 6 to 21 as per the revised schedule.
Apart from the 12 world championship categories, selections were also confirmed for the Asian Games in three overlapping divisions — 57kg, 60kg and 75kg.
In 57kg, Manisha won her trial bouts to make the cut for both the showpiece events, while the promising Jasmine (60kg) and the experienced Saweety Boora (75kg), who won a world silver medal in 2014, also ensured twin selections for themselves.
Zareen was an expected selection given that she was riding high after becoming the first Indian woman boxer to claim two gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament earlier this month.
Nitu (48kg), who also won a gold at the same tournament, claimed a place in the world championship squad as well.
Another recent Strandja medallist to qualify for the squad was Nandini (+81kg) who fetched a bronze in the tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The team also features Rani, who was left shaken by the death of her father earlier this month. The tragedy had forced her to pull out of the Strandja Memorial.
She is a two-time Asian gold-medallist.
The 66kg category features Assam’s Ankushita Boro, who is a former youth world champion.
Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom has withdrawn from the world championship as well as the Asian Games to focus on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August.
The trials for the remaining two Asian Games weight categories — 51kg and 69kg — will be held fro March 11 to 13. (PTI)
Indian team for women’s world championship:
Nitu (48kg), Anamika (50kg), Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Jasmine (60kg), Parveen (63.5kg), Ankushita Boro (66kg), Lovlina Borgohain (70kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Pooja Rani (81kg), and Nandini (+81kg).