Santosh, Mandeep in quarterfinals of Asian boxing

New Delhi: Santosh Harijan and Mandeep Jangra registered easy wins to book quarterfinal berths, but medal prospect Shiva Thapa pulled out owing to a shoulder injury as Indian boxers enjoyed mixed success at the Asian Confederation Boxing Championships in Incheon, South Korea on Sunday.

In their maiden appearances, Santosh (52kg), displayed some exceptional skills and techniques to beat Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia 18:9, while the nimble-footed Mandeep maintained a steady lead throughout the three rounds to beat Komiljon Kholioov of Tajikistan 21:9.

Thapa`s pull-out, however, was a setback for India as the 2010 Youth Olympics silver medallist was expected to do well in the bantam weight category (56kg weight class).

Santosh, who won a bronze at the Giraldo C’rdova Cardin memorial boxing tournament in Cuba earlier this year, was leading 5:4 after the opening round when he launched into an all-out offensive, giving his opponent no chance of a recovery.

Disappointment came in the form of Shiva`s withdrawal.

Thapa, participating in his first Asian Championships, had to pull out of his opening bout after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder.

Although it was minor niggle, the boxer decided not to continue with the bout keeping in mind the other important major tournaments scheduled for next year.

With Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (81kg) getting a bye in the first round and 34th National Games gold medallist Arun Hooda (+91kg) starting in the round of 8, the number of Indian boxers in the quarterfinals stage has increased to nine.


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