India's Nishant Dev secures historic Olympic quota in boxing

Thursday 06th June 2024 02:25 EDT

Nishant Dev scripted history by becoming the first Indian male pugilist to secure a quota for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The 71kg weight class boxer achieved this milestone by reaching the semifinals of the Boxing Olympic qualifiers, delivering an impressive performance against Vasile Cebotari of Moldova.

The world championships bronze medalist, who narrowly missed an Olympic berth in the previous qualifiers, showcased his determination and skill by defeating Cebotari 5-0 in a fiercely contested quarterfinal match. Both southpaws displayed remarkable boxing prowess, but it was Dev's sharp, accurate punches and composed demeanor that ultimately led to his victory.

This achievement marks India's fourth boxing quota for the Paris Games, following the earlier successes of women boxers Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preet Pawar (54kg), and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg). With five quota places available in the 71kg weight class, Dev's qualification is a significant milestone for Indian boxing.

Throughout the tournament, Dev has demonstrated dominance and tactical acumen. He started the quarterfinal bout with precision, landing effective punches while maintaining composure. Despite a brief challenge in the second round when Cebotari landed a few blows, Dev's resilience shone through as he continued to deliver accurate shots. In the final round, both boxers were visibly exhausted, but Dev maintained his offensive strategy. Cebotari's point deduction for an illegal punch when Dev was down further sealed the Indian's victory.

Amit, Jaismine clinch Olympic berth

Bangkok : World championships silver medallist boxer Amit Panghal’s (51kg) remarkable comeback to the national team culminated in an Olympic berth while Jaismine Lamboria reclaimed the women’s 57kg quota for India at the qualification tournament in Bangkok on Sunday. Panghal, India’s lone world championships silver medallist, notched a hard-fought 5-0 win over China’s Chuang Liu in the 51kg quarterfinals to punch a ticket to his second Olympic Games. Jaismine, who dropped down from 60kg, then followed suit as she outplayed Marine Camara of Mali with an identical 5-0 margin in the quarterfinals to secure a maiden appearance in the quadrennial showpiece.

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