Bengaluru, March 7: London Olympics bronze medallist Mary Kom and World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal moved one step closer to qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Games after impressive performances at the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers event in Amman, Jordan.
In the 51 kg category, Mary Kom, the six-time world champion, seeded second at this event, hardly put a foot wrong and sailed away to a commanding 5-0 victory over Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tamyn Benny of New Zealand on her way to the quarterfinals, where she will face Irish Magno of Philippines.
With Mary Kom's win, 11 Indian boxers have now entered the quarterfinals at this tournament.
Breaking News:— India_AllSports (@India_AllSports) March 7, 2020
Star Indian boxer Mary Kom moves into QF (51kg) of Asia/Oceania Boxing Qualifier with unanimous verdict win (5:0) over Kiwi pugilist.
Mary Kom is now just one win away from getting Olympic spot. pic.twitter.com/oz9NUsKncu
Earlier, Panghal (52kg) recorded a gritty 3-2 win over Mongolia's Enkhmanadakh Kharkhuu to enter the quarters.
Both Mary Kom and Panghal are now just one win away from realising their Olympic dreams.
Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki (57kg), meanwhile, bowed out 1-4 to top seed and world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan in the second round after a spirited display.
Having lost to the Mongolian at the World Military Games in their previous meeting, the Asian Games champion Panghal knew he had a tough task at hand in his opening bout at this event and he was up to the challenge.
"I played according to the strategy the coaches had chalked out. I tried to score well in the first round, which was the main aim. Glad to have got the win. I've played and beaten my next opponent twice. I would look to get a win again and get an Olympic quota for my country," said Panghal after the victory.
The Asian Championships gold medallist will next take on Southeast Asian Games champion Carlo Paalam of Philippines.
On Sunday (March 8), six Indians will be playing in the quarterfinal bouts. Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg), Pooja Rani (75 kg), Vikas Krishan (69 kg), Ashish Kumar (75 kg), Sachin Kumar (81 kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg) will all be looking to win their respective bouts and seal their Tokyo tickets.
(Source: Media Release)