Nikhat, Nitu storm into semifinals at Strandja Memorial Boxing

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Indian women boxers Nikhat Zareen and Nitu put up sensational performances to enter semifinals and assured the country of two more medals at the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Thursday.

While Nikhat outclassed England’s Charley Davision by unanimous 5-0 verdict in the 52kg category, Nitu, too, pulled off an equally impressive victory by a similar margin against Italy’s Roberta Bonatti in the 48kg.

The 25-year-old Telangana boxer Nikhat, who won gold medal in the 2019 edition, showcased tremendous skills in the defence as well as attack and dominated the English boxer in a busy bout. She maintained her aggressive approach throughout the match and denied opponent any chance of scoring before securing a convincing win.

On the other hand, Nitu, who hails from Haryana, used her longer reach well as she looked in complete command in all three rounds against the Italian opponent.

With Nikhat and Nitu entering semi-finals, India are now assured of three medals at the Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament. Earlier on Tuesday, Nandini (+81kg) confirmed the first medal for the country at the on-going championships, which has been witnessing the presence of over 450 boxers from 36 countries around the world, including strong boxing nations such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia and France.

Later tonight, reigning youth world champion Arundhati Choudhary (70kg) and Praveen (63kg) will compete in the quarter-finals.

On Wednesday night, Sumit and Anamika’s challenge ended after suffering defeats in their respective matches. While Anamika lost to Algerian boxer Roumaysa Boualem 4-1 in the women’s 50kg quarter-final, Sumit conceded a defeat against Ukraine’s Oleksander Khyzhniak by unanimous margin in the men’s 75kg second-round match.

A 17-member Indian contingent, including seven men and 10 women, is participating at the ongoing tournament which will be played till February 27.

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