5 Indians in boxing semis, assured of medals on debut
Gold Coast: Veteran Manoj Kumar (69kg) assured himself the second Commonwealth Games medal of his career as five Indian boxers entered the semifinals of the mega-event with contrasting victories in the quarterfinals here on Tuesdsay.
The debutant trio of Amit Panghal (49kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), Naman Tanwar (91kg) and Satish kumar (+91kg) joined Manoj in the semifinals of the mega-event, where Indian boxers had won three silver and a bronze medal the last time around.
Amit defeated Scotland's Aqeel Ahmed in a split 4-1 verdict. The 19-year-old Naman, on the other hand, hammered Samoa's Frank Masoe 5-0 in his quarterfinal clash to move into the medal round.
"I didn't expect Ahmed to be this good. He surprised me with his speed and my counter-attack wasn't working at all. The coaches then told me to go all out aggressive which is what got me the results that I wanted," Amit said after his bout.
Chasing a third successive international gold, the 22-year-old from Haryana overcame a rusty start to turn the tables on his opponent.
"This is definitely going to be the biggest medal of my career so far. There is no doubt about that," said the world championships quarterfinalists.
Amit had lost the opening round on a majority decision but came back strongly to clinch the bout and a spot in the semifinals in his maiden appearance at a multi-sport event.
He had won gold medals at the India Open and the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria before coming into the Games.
Naman is a former bronze-medallist from the youth world championships.