Indian boxers began their World Youth Championships campaign on a brilliant note with three of them advancing to the second round after notching up resounding wins in their opening bouts in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday.

Two men and a woman from India are in the second round of the event which, for the first time, has combined the two competitions.

The Championship is doubling up as a qualifying tournament for the Youth Olympics, slated from August 16 to 28 in Nanjing, China.

The winners for India on Tuesday were former junior world Nikhat Zareen (51kg) in the women’s competition, while Sathish Kumar (56kg) and Shyam Kakara (49kg) advanced in men’s event.

Nikhat, who had won a silver medal at the previous edition of the event, sailed past Turkey’s Istik Neriman 3-0 and will now be up against Korea’s Sukyeong Lee, who got a bye in the first round.

Sathish, on the other hand out-punched Hungary’s Nandor Csoka 3-0 in his campaign-opener. He will face Cuba’s Javier Ibanez in his next bout.

Late last night, Shyam Kakara (49kg) pummelled UAE’s Abdulla Almulla in his opening bout. Kakara won the bout via Technical Knock Out (TKO) within the first two rounds.

Technical knockout was a result of Almulla being declared unfit to continue the bout after coming in for severe thrashing from the Indian pugilist.

Kakara will now be up against Sri Lanka’s Ishanka Withrana, who got a first-round bye.

Earlier, Asian silver-medallists Gaurav Solanki (52kg) and Neel Kamal Singh (75kg) were among the fours Indians who were handed first-round byes in the tournament, which would double up as a qualifying event for the Youth Olympics.

Manjeet (69kg) and Manju Bombariya (75kg) are the other Indians to get a bye in the tournament.

The youngsters, all in the age bracket of 17 and 18, will have to reach at least the semi-finals of the world event to make the cut for the Youth Olympics.

The Indians are competing under the International Boxing Association (AIBA) flag due to the termination of the Indian Boxing Federation following its failure to comply with the world body’s directives on holding elections.

India had won a couple of silver medals and a bronze in the previous edition in Yerevan, Armenia.

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