Boxer Nishant Dev books Paris Olympics ticket

Dev (71kg), became the first Indian male pugilist to secure a Paris Games quota.
Nishant Dev
Nishant Dev

BANGKOK: Nishant Dev (71kg) became the first Indian male pugilist to secure a Paris Games quota when he reached the semifinals of the Boxing Olympic qualifiers here on Friday.

The world championships bronze medalist, who had narrowly missed on an Olympic berth in the previous qualifiers, earned the quota after defeating Vasile Cebotari of Moldova 5-0 in the quarterfinal which was a battle of the southpaws.

It is India's fourth quota place with women boxers Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preet Pawar (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) having already secured their passage to Paris.

The 71kg weight class had five quotas on offer.

Nishant Dev
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Dev, who has been dominant all tournament, was off to a flyer, landing sharp, accurate punches.

The Indian was more composed and used his punches judiciously.

In the second round, Cebotari landed a couple of blows and Dev looked a bit out of breath but the Indian continued to hit accurate shots.

In the last three minutes, both boxers looked spent but Dev continued to land punches at will.

Cebotari earned a point deduction for his punch to Dev when the Indian was down on the canvas.

Earlier, India's quest for booking a quota in the women's 60kg ended with Ankushita Boro 2-3 defeat against Agnes Alexiusson of Sweden in the quarterfinals.

The 23-year-old Boro fought hard but her Swedish opponent, a former European Games bronze medallist, dug into her reservoir of experience to pip the Indian.

Boro, a former youth world champion, was slow off the blocks, but managed to adapt toward the end of the first round, using straight jabs effectively.

It was enough to convinced one judge.

Down 1-4, Boro made a blistering start, using the combination of left jab and right cross.

The Indian was electric and the 28-year Alexiusson was unable to keep up.

The two entered the third round on equal footing and Boro was able to make early gains but Alexiusson ended the bout stronger taking the split decision win.

Later in the day, Arundhati Choudhary (66kg) and Amit Panghal (51kg) will be in action.

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The New Indian Express