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Tokyo Olympics: Boxer Vikas Krishan to kick-start India’s boxing campaign | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 24, 2021

The 2008 Beijing Olympics proved to be a watershed year for Indian boxing. Vijender Singh returned home with the country’s first-ever Olympic medal in boxing – a bronze. Four years later, MC Mary Kom added to her legend with a bronze at the London Olympics.
The 2016 Rio Olympics was a major disappointment for the country’s pugilists as none could reach the medal rounds. This time, though, there are huge expectations from the ‘Navratna’ vying for glory in Tokyo.
An unprecedented nine Indian boxers will be in action at the Olympics this time. They include five men – Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan Yadav (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (91kg) – and four women – Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).
Vikas will start India’s campaign at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena on Friday – the opening day of all boxing competitions. He will be the lone Indian boxer in action and therefore opted out of the opening ceremony.
The 29-year-old is chasing a medal in what is his third and, in all likelihood, final shot at Olympic glory.
His opponent is Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa, who is representing Japan but has a Ghanaian lineage. His father was born in Accra but moved Asia seeking greener pastures. The 25-year-old started his sporting career as a wrestler at the age of 15 but later switched to boxing.
If Vikas crosses this hurdle, he will be up against Cuba’s third-seeded Roniel Iglesias in the round of 16. Iglesias is the London Olympics gold medallist and also a former world champion.
Four Indians have got byes into the pre-quarters, including Panghal, the world No. 1 in men’s 52kg category. The others are Simranjit, Satish and Lovlina.
On Sunday, six-time world champion Mary Kom will start her campaign against Dominica’s Miguelina Hernandez. The in-form Pooja Rani will square off against Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib in her opening bout.
Ashish will take on China’s Erbieke Touheta in his opener and Manish Kaushik has Britain’s European silver medallist Luke McCormack to contend with in his first bout.

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