Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain’s IBA World Championship campaign in the 70kg category ended prematurely after a disappointing pre-quarter-final loss, while her compatriot Pooja Rani (81kg) qualified for the round of 16 in Istanbul on Friday. Lovlina, competing in her first international event since her podium finish in Tokyo last year, lost to Cindy Ngamba of Fair Chance Team (FCT) 1-4 in the pre-quarterfinals. On the other hand, two-time Asian champion Pooja picked up an easy 5-0 victory over Hungary’s Timea Nagy in her debut fight.
Pooja, the 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist, who is also competing in her first competitive tournament since her disappointing appearance at the Tokyo Olympics last year, looked perfectly in control against Nagy.
The experienced Indian boxer mixed defense and attack to outplay the Hungarian, who is a two-time bronze medalist at the World Championships.
Boxer Bhiwani will face Australian Jessica Bagley in the quarter-finals on Monday.
In India’s first bout of the day, Lovlina started aggressively but looked far from her best.
The 24-year-old from Assam, following her strategy of using her long hands to reach the opponent from afar, was unable to penetrate Ngamba’s defence.
She fared better in the second round but the FCT boxer defended firmly, dodging punches from Lovlina while landing several slashes on the Indian.
Lovlina had beaten former world champion Chen Nien-Chin in the first round.
The FCT is a team led by the International Boxing Association (IBA), formerly AIBA, since last year’s men’s world championships, made up mostly of refugee athletes.
2017 Junior World Champion Nitu (48kg) and 2019 Asian Championships bronze medalist Manisha (57kg) will contest their respective pre-quarterfinal bouts on Saturday.
Nitu will face Spaniard Lopez Del Arbol while Manisha will face Bulgarian Svetlana Staneva for a place in the quarter-finals.
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