Positive start for Indian pugilists at Asian Oly qualifiers

New Delhi: It was a perfect start to the proceedings for India at the Asian Olympic Boxing Qualifiers with the experienced M Suranjoy Singh (52kg) and young gun Sumit Sangwan (81kg) notching up contrasting wins in their opening bouts in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Suranjoy, a Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and Asian Games bronze-medallist, beat Shin Dongmyung of Korea 16-14 in a high-voltage encounter.

The 19-year-old Sumit, in contrast, outpunched Luong Van Toan of Vietnam 14-2. Toan is a gold-medallist from the South East Asian Games last year.

Suranjoy will now face off against Mongolia`s Tugstsogt Nyambayar, who was his nemesis in both the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. Sumit will square off against Kim Hyeongkyu of Korea in his next bout.

"Suranjoy had a very tough bout as the Korean guy is also a tempo boxer. He really stretched Suranjoy in the last three minutes," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.

"He has a tough opponent in the next round as well and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Sumit, on the other hand, made it completely one-sided, it was an easy one for him," he added.

Suranjoy took a 5-3 lead in the opening round and had made it a comfortable 13-8 at the end of the next three minutes. But Dongmyung roared back in the final round to give the Indian a scare but eventually fell short.

Sumit, who defeated the established Word Cup bronze-medallist and Olympian Dinesh Kumar in the trials for the event, put up a dominating display by taking a 5-0 lead in the first round itself.

From then on, it was a cakewalk for the teenage counter-puncher from Haryana as he stamped his authority with some clean straight ones.

"Sumit boxed from the long range and his straight rights connected perfectly," said Sandhu.

On Friday, Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh will open his campaign against Ishak Waez of Syria. Vijender will have to make the semifinals to make the Olympic cut.

Another Indian boxer who will be in action tomorrow is Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg), who will fight it out against Toulyek Yerbolat of Mongolia.

The day after, 18-year-old promising talent Shiva Thapa will kick off his campaign with a relatively easy opener against Afghan Mohammad Khaiber Nooristani after getting a first-round bye.

Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Paramjeet Samota has got a first-round bye and will take the ring against Soumar Ghossoun of Syria in the semifinals on April 11.

Just one Olympic slot is available in the 91kg and the +91kg category which means that Samota and Manpreet will have to fetch gold to make the cut for London.


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