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Tokyo Olympics | Shock exit for Amit; Pooja, too, bows out

Amit Panghal lands a punch on Colombia's Yuberjen Martinez in the Men's Flyweight Round of 16 boxing match, at the Tokyo Olympics, July 31, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India had a lacklustre day in the boxing ring as Asian champion Pooja Rani and World championships silver medallist Amit Panghal exited from the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Pooja, who had lost to Li Qian in the 2014 Asian Games, could not make an impact on the superior Chinese boxer who won their women’s 75kg quarterfinal bout 5-0.

While Pooja used her right-left combinations to launch attacks, the 31-year-old Li relied on counterattacks to land quick and accurate punches. The Indian had no answer to the Chinese.

Earlier, top seed and medal contender Amit Panghal crashed out after losing his 52kg pre-quarterfinal bout 1-4 to Colombian Yuberjen Martinez, a Rio Olympics silver medallist in light flyweight.

The 25-year-old Panghal, a World championships silver medallist, dominated the first round with his excellent footwork backed by solid shots. The Indian established an early advantage as he won the opener 4-1.

However, the experienced 29-year-old Colombian surprised Amit with a change in gameplan.

Martinez chased Amit around the ring, spraying punches and making the Indian’s moves ineffective. He took the second round 4-1.

The Colombian went on to win the final round 5-0.

Satish Kumar (+91kg) is the only Indian male boxer left in the Tokyo Games.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 12:39:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/world-no1-panghals-olympic-campaign-ends-with-shocking-loss-to-colombian-martinez/article35644469.ece

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