Amit Panghal books Commonwealth Games berth, major upset for Satish at tryouts

Tokyo Olympian and 2019 world silver medalist Amit Panghal has secured a spot for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the men’s 51kg category.

National trials were held at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, Punjab on Thursday under the auspices of the Indian Boxing Federation. National events were held in eight weight categories.

Panghal faced a tough rival in Deepak but ultimately prevailed to win the final 51kg bout with a score of 4-1 to earn a spot on the national team for the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games will be Panghal’s first major competition in 2022.

The national selections saw veteran Assam international boxer Shiva Thapa battle his way to victory. He edged rival and Olympian Manish Kaushik, the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, to earn a spot at 63kg.

While Amit Panghal was impressive, Olympian Satish failed to seal his Commonwealth Games spot

In another major upset, Tokyo Indian Olympian Satish Kumar has retired after losing to Sagar in the heavyweight division. Sagar will compete at the Commonwealth Games at over 92kg.

In the 57kg category, Mohammed Hussamuddin showed his prowess to defeat 2019 Asian medalist Kavinder Singh Bisht to earn a ticket to Birmingham with a 4-1 win.

Taking advantage of the opportunities, Rohit Tokas qualified in the 67 kg category. Tokas scored a narrow 3-2 win over Aditya Pratap Yadav.

Reigning National Men’s Heavyweight Champion Narender lost the final fight over 92kg against Sagar by 0-5. A Tokyo Olympian and strong contender for a spot in the over 92kg group, Satish lost in the semifinals of the selection trials.

Sumit Kundu (75kg), Ashish Kumar (80kg) and Sanjeet (92kg) are the other three boxers who have booked a spot for the Commonwealth Games at their respective weights.

India’s boxing team won up to nine medals, including three gold, at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Almost all of the final fights were hotly contested. Finalists in all eight weight classes have more time to hone their skills to perform at their peak level at the Commonwealth Games,” a national boxing coach said by phone from Patiala.

The women’s boxing trials for the Commonwealth Games will take place from June 9-11 at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex in Delhi.

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Colin L. Johnson