Asian Olympic Qualifiers: Amit Panghal Books Tokyo 2020 Spot, Manish Kaushik In Contention Despite Loss
Amit Panghal secured a Tokyo Olympic berth after beating Philippines' Carlo Paalam 4-1 in the quarter-finals of Asian Qualifiers
Amit Panghal defeated Carlo Paalam of Philippines in the quarter-finals
Top-seed Amit Panghal prevailed in a 4-1 split verdict against Paalam
Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) lost to Korea's Im Aeji in the quarters
World number one Amit Panghal (52kg) qualified for his maiden Olympic Games, while Manish Kaushik (63kg) remained in the hunt for a Tokyo ticket despite losing his quarterfinal bout in the Asia/Oceania Qualifiers in Jordan on Monday. World silver-medallist and top seed Panghal edged out familiar foe Carlo Paalam of Philippines in a 4-1 split quarterfinal verdict, while world bronze-winner Kaushik lost 2-3 to third seed Chinzorig Baatarsukh of Mongolia after another intense battle. "I dedicate my Olympic quota to my uncle Raj Narayan, it's his birthday and he is someone who gives me a lot of courage," said Panghal after his bout.
Kaushik also remains in contention for an Olympic berth if he can win the box-off between losing quarterfinalists as the top six boxers will claim Tokyo tickets in the 63kg category.
The 23-year-old Panghal, who is the reigning Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist, had earlier beaten the Filipino in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games and the quarterfinals of the 2019 world championships, which were also split decisions.
"I followed the instructions given by my coaches. I ensured that he didn't get on top of me. I think I was pretty consistent in all three rounds," Panghal said.
Next up for Panghal is China's Jianguan Hu, who stunned world bronze-medallist and fourth seed Kazakh Saken Bibossinov 5-0.
"I have beaten him in the Asian Championships and I know how to get the better of him," Panghal said of his next opponent.
The Haryana lad didn't exactly look at his best during the bout but his trademark counter-attacking game fetched him the desired result against a rival, who is challenging him more with every fresh encounter.
Kaushik, who was up against an Asian Games silver-medallist, started well but lost steam in the face of relentless body shots by Baatarsukh, a two-time podium finisher at the Asian Championships.
Baatarsukh had lost to Kaushik in the second round of the world championships last year and he extracted revenge with an aggressive takedown of the Indian, especially in the final three minutes.
However, former junior world champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) failed to secure an Olympic berth after going down to Korea's Im Aeji in the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old Chaudhary lost 0-5 to Im, who is also a former world youth champion.
Only the semifinalists are entitled to an Olympic berth in the women's 57kg category of the ongoing event. Her next shot at Tokyo qualification would be the world qualifiers in May, provided she is selected for it.