Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Promising pugilist Sumit stunned the World Championships silver medalist Dzhambulat Bizhamov, while three other Indians fell by the way side on the opening day of the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The seven-member Indian men’s challenge was trimmed to four on the first day with Earlier Narender Berwal (+92kg), Varinder Singh (60kg) and Lakshya Chahar (86kg) made exits with defeats in their respective opening round matches.
National champion Sumit saved India blushes as he came up with a power packed display to register a dominating 5-0 victory against his Russian opponent in the 75kg opening round match.
Sumit, playing his only second senior international tournament, will now face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the second round.
Narender went down fighting 2-3 against the Spanish boxer Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi while Varinder and Chahar lost to their Russian opponents Artur Subkhankulov and Sharabutdin Ataev by 0-5 and 1-4 margin respectively.
The second day of Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament will see four Indian boxers starting their campaigns.
Shiksha will face a tough challenge against the reigning Asian champion Dina Zholaman from Kazakhstan in the 54kg opening round match. Nitu (48kg) and Anamika (50kg) are the other two Indian women to play their matches on Day 2.
Among men, Akash Sangwan, who received bye in the opening round, will play against the German pugilist Deniel Krotter in the 67kg second round match late on Monday night.
Over 450 boxers from 36 countries are taking part in the tournament, which will be played till February 27,