Indian boxers continued to touch new highs at the World Championships here as three of them entered the quarterfinals on an all-win day on Tuesday to take the total number to an unprecedented five.
Vikash Malik (60kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) joined Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) in the quarterfinals, making it one better than the previous best achieved in the 2011 edition in Azerbaijan.
“It is a historic performance. I mean, we have won medals but as far as reaching this level is concerned, it is the first time that five Indians have made the quarterfinals,” an elated national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.
“We are getting standing ovations from fans here. It is very thrilling and something that makes you feel very proud,” he said.
Vikash was the first Indian boxer to step into the ring today and was the underdog against fifth seed and former 2008 European Championships silver-medallist Miklos Varga. The Indian trailed by a couple of points in the opening round but made a stupendous recovery in the next two rounds, clinching them unanimously to emerge triumphant.
Vikash has another tough bout at hand as he will be facing Brazil’s Robson Conceicao, a former Pan-American Games silver-medallist who has been seeded fourth here.
“Vikash fought tempo-style in all the three rounds. He prefers to be aggressive and even though it was little even in the opening round, Vikash dominated the second and third round,” Sandhu said.
“He mostly employed his straight punches and uppercuts to good effect. In fact, Vikash did not give any chance or time to the Hungarian boxer to regain his composure. It is a great win,” Sandhu said.
Next in was Sumit and it never looked that he was facing an opponent more fancied than him.