World C’ships: India boxers handed mixed draw; Lovlina to begin campaign on Day 1
NEW DELHI: Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will take on former champion Chen Nien-Chin in her opening bout as Indian pugilists were handed a mixed draw in the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, starting in Istanbul on Monday.
Borgohain (70kg) will kickstart India’s campaign on Monday, as she will be up against the Chinese Taipei boxer, who won gold and bronze medals in 2018 and 2016 editions respectively.
However, Borgohain, who will be making her first competitive outing since her podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics, will head to the fixture with some confidence having defeated Chen in the Olympic quarter-finals last year. Two-time Asian champion Pooja Rani (81kg), Nandini and Nikhat Zareen (52kg) have also been handed tough draws in their respective categories.
Pooja will start in the round of 16 against two-time World Championships bronze medallist Timea Nagy of Hungary, while Nandini (+81kg) has received bye in the opening round but will face last edition’s bronze medallist Khadija El-Mardi of Morocco in the quarter-finals.
On the other hand, Nikhat will face Mexico’s Herrera Alvarez in the opening round and if she wins, she is likely to meet 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg of Mongolia in the round of 16. Jaismine (60kg) will lock horns with two-time youth Asian champion Porntip Buapa of Thailand in the opening round. If the Indian gets past the first hurdle, she may clash against former World Championships bronze medallist Rashida Ellis of USA in the last eight stage.
Among other Indians, Ankushita (66kg) got a comparatively easier draw alongside Nitu (48kg), Anamika (50kg), Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Parveen (63kg) and Saweety (75kg). Ankushita will begin her challenge in the round of 16 after getting bye in the opening round.
The Indians have garnered 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, so far in the 11 editions of the prestigious event. India’s tally is the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50). In the last edition held in Russia in 2019, the Indian boxers clinched one silver and three bronze medals. More than 400 boxers from a record 93 countries are set to take part in this year’s event, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event.
Nitu (48kg), Anamika (50kg), Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Jaismine (60kg), Parveen (63kg), Ankushita (66kg), Lovlina Borgohain (70kg), Saweety (75kg), Pooja Rani (81kg), Nandini (+81kg).