New Delhi, March 20
Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal will be making his competitive debut in the 52kg category while Shiva Thapa (60kg) will be eyeing a record-breaking fourth successive medal in the Asian Championships, after the duo found a place in the Indian men’s boxing team for the April 19-28 event in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Panghal won his second successive 49kg category gold medal at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria last month and trained in his new weight division in Germany earlier this month.
The Haryana-boxer has been forced to change divisions after the 49kg category was dropped from the 2020 Olympics programme.
Thapa also started the new season on a positive note, winning a silver medal at the GeeBee Tournament in Finland this month.
The former World Championships bronze-medallist from Assam has won medals in three previous editions of the Asian showpiece event — gold in 2013, bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017.
“The boxers who win gold or silver medals at the Asian Championships in the Olympic weight categories will be our automatic choices for the World Championships later this year,” said national coach CA Kuttappa.
The 49kg category will be represented by national champion Deepak Singh, who clinched a gold medal in the Makran Cup in Iran earlier this month. Kavinder Singh Bisht, the gold-winner in the GeeBee Tournament, has been picked for the 56kg category, while Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Satish Kumar was expectedly the choice for the +91kg division. — PTI