New Delhi, March 11,
Former Asian Championship gold medallist Shiva Thapa and Mohammed Hussamuddin led the march as six Indian boxers assured berth at the finals of the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki, Finland.
The youngest Indian to play in Olympics, Thapa outclassed Russia’s Mikhail Varlamov to notch up a unanimous 5-0 victory. The three-time Asian medallist will next take on local favourite Arslan Khataev in the summit clash.
Following suit was Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Hussamuddin. In a thrilling contest, the Indian held on to his nerves to get the better of Kazakhstan’s Zhanbolat Kydyrbayev in a narrow 3:2 win.
It will be an exciting all-Indian final in the 56kg category with Hussamuddin taking on Kavinder Singh Bisht, who got the better of Frenchman Jordan Rodriquez to make the summit showdown.
Also advancing to the last-two stage were Dinesh Dagar (69kg) and rookie Govind Sahani (49kg).
Dinesh Dagar, who defeated former Olympic bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas earlier in the tournament continued his impressive run, producing a gritty 4-1 victory over Sergei Sobylinski of Russia in his semis clash. He will be facing Commonwealth Games gold-medallist England Pat McCormack in the finals, a two-time European silver-medallist.
The final berth was secured by Govind Sahani who produced a flawless performance to outclass Russia’s Artysh Sojan 5-0. He will square off against Thailand’s Thitisan Panmod in quest for the gold.
Finishing off with bronze medals were Sachin Siwach (52), Sumit Sangwan (91kg) and Naveen Kumar (+91kg) after their respective semi-final loss. The former world youth champion, Sachin incurred a 1-4 defeat against Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev while Sangwan suffered a similar fate after a 0-5 loss to England’s Chevon Clarke. In the Super Heavyweight category, Naveen Kumar lost 1-4 against Australia’s Justis Huni.