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  5. Nikhat, Lovlina and two others advance to semifinals of Women's World Championships, assure 4 medals for India

Nikhat, Lovlina and two others advance to semifinals of Women's World Championships, assure 4 medals for India

For India, however, it was a roller-coaster day as the other four pugilists lost the quarterfinals.

Kartik Mehindru Written By: Kartik Mehindru @mehindrukartik New Delhi Published on: March 23, 2023 8:00 IST
Nikhat, Lovlina, Saweety and Nitu progress to semis
Image Source : PTI Nikhat, Lovlina, Saweety and Nitu progress to semis

India boxing star Nikhat Zareen continued her winning streak to enter the semifinals at the Women's World Championships. Along with Nikhat three other pugilists including Lovlina Borgohain, Nitu Ghanghas, and Saweety Boora also advanced into the SFs. They have confirmed at least four medals for the country.

Competing in a new weight category, Nikhat (50kg) defeated Thailand's Chuthamat Raksat to register a 5-2 win and then Lovlina (75kg) progressed to the semis with a 5-0 win over Adosinda Rady Gramane of Mozambique. Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) 

and the seasoned Saweety Boora (81kg) also moved to the next round.

For India, however, it was a roller-coaster day as the other four pugilists who made it to the quarterfinals - Sakshi Choudhary (52kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) bowed out of the tournament.

While Sakshi lost to Yu Wu of China 0-5, Manisha was outplayed by a 1-4 margin by Amina Zidani of France. Like last year, Jaismine faltered in the quarterfinal stage once again, falling 0-5 to Colombia's Paola Valdez. Nupur went down fighting to Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan 3-4 after a bout review.

Nikhat who will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semifinals said, "I aimed to play from a long range but there was a lot of clinching so my body got a little tired. All the bouts I have had till now were powerful but for me, it's been a good experience to keep moving forward and defeating them so hopefully I will keep moving forward like this and fight for my country."

Lovlina, who has endured a rough patch since winning the Olympics bronze, has already bagged her third medal in the kitty. On the other hand, Saweety will take on Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in her next bout.

The first Indian to take the ring, 22-year-old Nitu has won all three bouts in the tournament so far by RSC verdicts. She will face last year's silver medallist Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in the semis.

"I had to be careful and couldn't be aggressive because she (Wada) was also a southpaw like me, but then towards the end (of the contest) I thought I could attack," Nitu said after the bout.

"The advantage of winning all my three bouts by RSC is that in the coming bouts, my opponents will be under pressure," she said.

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