Three Indian boxers off to winning starts at 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament

New Delhi, February 23: Led by Asian Championship silver medalist Deepak Kumar, three Indian boxers started their campaign on winning note on the opening day at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Deepak (file)

Deepak (52kg) looked in complete control throughout the contest against Kazakhstan’s Olzhas Bainiyazov during an impressive 5-0 win while 2017 World Youth champion and 2019 national champion Jyoti Gulia also dished out a solid show to clinch 4-1 victory against Ukraine’s Tetiana Kob in the women’s 51kg category. Jyoti will face Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay in her next round match later today. Another Indian who emerged victorious on the opening day of the tournament was Naveen Kumar who beat USA’s Darius Fulghum 3-2 in the men’s 91kg category. He will fight against France’s Wilfried Florentin in the next round.

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Meanwhile, Sakshi (57kg), Shashi Chopra (60kg) and Lalita (69kg) suffered defeats in their respective opening round matches. While Sakshi went down USA’s Andrea Medina 4-1, Chopra lost to Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira 5-0. Lalita also lost her bout 5-0 against Uzbekistan’s Navbakhor Khamidova.

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Apart from Jyoti and Naveen, Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg), Naveen Boora (69kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg) and Sachin Kumar (81kg) will be seen in action later tonight.

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A 12-member Indian team (seven men and five women) is taking part in the tournament which will see participation of boxers from 30 countries including top boxing nations such as the USA, Ukraine, France and Russia.