Asian Boxing Championships: Amit Panghal, Pooja Rani Win Gold Medals
Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) clinched the gold medal at the Asian Championships.
Amit Panghal gave India it's first gold medal in the men's 52-kg category at the Asian Boxing Championships by defeating Inkyu Kim of Korea in the final of the event. In women's 81-kg category, Pooja Rani defeated World Champion Wang Lina to add to India's gold medal tally. India ended the event with 13 medals - two gold, four silver and seven bronze medals - in the tournament which was held simultaneously for men and women for the first time. Amit Panghal, who had won the gold medal at the Asian Games last year, beat his Korean opponent by a unanimous decision tp clinch the gold. This was Amit Panghal's second straight gold medal this year, gaving won the the Strandja Memorial Tournament in February. This was also his maiden international competition since moving up to 52kg from 49kg earlier this year.
However, national champion Deepak Singh (49kg) had to settle for a silver after going down in a split verdict to Nodirjon Mirzahmedov of Uzbekistan.
India have challenged the verdict under the Bout Review System and a decision is awaited on it.
Up against a lanky opponent, who was willing to play the waiting game, Amit Panghal started in his usual aggressive style.
The strategy of stumping rivals with relentless attacks paid off against Inkyu and the Korean simply had no answer to Panghal''s aggression.
The Indian managed to corner his rival quite often and his solid defences thwarted the feeble attempts at connecting by Inkyu.
Earlier, Deepak put up a gutsy performance that failed to find favour with the judges.
It was a bout in which both the boxers were mostly looking to counter-attack. Deepak''s focus was getting his straight punches across, while Mirzahmedov looked to connect right hooks occasionally.
The Indian was a clear winner in the opening round but Mirzahmedov came back strongly in the second.
The Uzbek turned a shade defensive in the last three minutes, which gave Deepak a chance to assert himself. However, the final outcome was in favour of the Uzbek, much to the surprise of the Indian camp which immediately sought a review of the decision.
The tournament has a Bout Review Process in place for any contentious decisions. Teams have been handed yellow cards at the beginning of their respective bouts. Coaches get a minute after the fight to appeal against a decision.
A slow motion footage of the bout is used for reviews by an observer to decide the merits of the appeal.
In case the decision does not favour the team concerned, the national federation has to pay USD 1,000 as penalty.
Kavinder Singh Bisht, who was fighting for the 56-kg category gold, went down fighting to Mirazibek Mirzahalilov, the reigning Asian Games champion.
Simranjit Kaur Baath, who was also up against a difficult opponent in the 64-kg final, managed to put up a good show before going down to Dou Dan, the reigning world champion.
Ashish Kumar won a fourth silver medal for India at the Asian Boxing Championships, losing out to Kulakhmet Tursynbay of Kazakhstan in the 75-kg final.
(With PTI Inputs)