New Delhi : India were assured of a whopping 21 medals in the Asian Youth and Junior Boxing Championships for men and women in Dubai after the unveiling of draws as COVID-19 related travel restrictions hampered participation in the continental showpiece.
India would be represented by a contingent of 73 — two squads for men (junior and youth) and two squads for women (junior and youth) — in the tournament featuring over 250 boxers.
Among the 21 in the medals rounds, nine have made the final directly.
The Indians have left in batches after technical issues with their COVID-19 test reports disrupted the original travel plans.
One batch of 23 left last night, another 25 boarded the flight to Dubai this morning, while 25 more will leave this evening.
“The 25 who are left are mainly members of the support staff and a couple of boxers who are to compete later, all the junior boxers who are scheduled to compete tonight have reached Dubai,” a contingent source told PTI.
Rohit Chamoli (48kg), Mohammed Usman (50kg), Nikhil (54kg) Anshul (57kg), Preet Malik (63kg), Ankush (66kg), Gaurav Saini (70kg), Naksh Beniwal (75kg), and Rishab Singh (81kg) are scheduled to compete in their opening bouts in the evening.
Wins would assure them of medals in the tournament.
Women boxers were the biggest beneficiaries of the small draws and in the youth competition, five have made the finals directly to be guaranteed at least a silver, while four are in the last four-stage assuring them of a bronze.
Deepika (81kg), Khishi (75kg), Neha (54kg), Tamanna (50kg) and Nivedita Karki (48kg) are the direct finalists.
Lashu Yadav (70kg), Sneha Kumari (66kg), Preeti Dahiya (60kg), and Simran Verma (52kg) have found a place in the semifinals.
Among the youth men, Amin Singh (+92kg) and Vishal (80kg) are assured of a bronze after having made the semifinals already.
In the junior competition, Kirti (+81kg), Pranjal Yadav (75kg), Mahi Raghav (63kg) and Aanchal Saini (57kg) are the finals courtesy the small size of their draws.
The direct semifinalists are Sanjana (81kg), Rudrika (70kg), Supriya Rawat (66kg), Nikita Chand (60kg), Aarsoo (54kg), Tanu (52kg), Devika Satyajit (50kg),
Vishu Rathee (48kg) and Muskan (46kg).
The event was to feature boxers from 18 countries but that number went down considerably as teams pulled out or sent smaller squads due to the travel restrictions in place owing to the pandemic.