CWG 2022: Boxing: Jaismine clinches bronze on Games debut; Nihat Zareen, Amit Panghal storm into finals

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While Zareen and Panghal stormed into the finals, Jaismine clinched bronze medal in her Commonwealth Games debut. The Indian pugilist fell to a narrow loss to bag the bronze medal. Playing in the women’s light semifinal boxing bout in Birmingham, Jaismine fell to England’s Paige Richardson 2-3 to pick up the bronze medal.

Jaismine’s bronze, took India’s tally to 30 medals in the ongoing games. India’s thirty medals, include, nine gold medals, eleven silver medals and ten bronze medals.

Meanwhile, reigning world champion boxer Zareen put up a scintillating display as she outclassed Stubley Alfia Savannah of England in the semifinals of the women’s 48kg on Saturday.

Nikhat sealed her place in the final with a unanimous 5-0 verdic. In the semifinal encounter, Nikhar started on a confident note and dominated throughout in what turned out to be a lop-sided contest. The 26-year-old, lived up to her favourite billing, as she dominated the opening round, with all the five judges ruling it in her favour. The following rounds unfolded in a similar manner, as Zareen clinched a comfortable win.

Earlier on Saturday, Panghal (51kg) displayed his class as he reached his second consecutive Commonwealth Games final, while Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) also remained on course for a gold in her maiden appearance.

Panghal, who is vying to win the yellow metal after his silver in the last edition, came from behind to beat an aggressive Patrick Chinyemba of Zambia with a 5-0 unanimous decision win. Nitu, on the other hand, prevailed over Canada’s Priyanka Dhillon as she notched a RSC (Referee Stops Contest) win in the minimum weight category.

Such was the 21-year-old Nitu’s confidence that she played with an open guard, inviting her opponent to strike while using her straight jabs and combination punches to great effect.

In the end, the referee had to end the contest. Both the boxers will have to overcome local challengers in Kiaran Macdonald (men’s fly) and Demie-Jade Resztan (women’s minimum) in their respective finals on Sunday in pursuit of their maiden gold medals.

“I know it would be tough, there would be loud cheers for him but I’ve to stay focused. Can’t let it go this time,” a determined Panghal, who lost to another Briton and Tokyo Olympics champion in Galal Yafai in 2018, told PTI.

Panghal, 26, was left on the back foot as his younger, more aggressive opponent landed a barrage of punches on the world championship silver medallist. Trailing 2-3 after initially, Panghal, who looked to put behind the ghost of the Tokyo Olympics where he made a first round exit, had to dig deep in his reservoir of experience. The Asian Games champion upped the ante, landing hooks and jabs at will to take the round. The final three minutes were keenly contested with both pugilists trying to leave an impression but four of the judges ruled in favour of Panghal.

“He was aggressive up front and I had to give it my all and used all my experiences to bounce back in the last two rounds. I hope I get a gold this time,” Panghal said.

(Inputs from PTI)

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