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Shiva, Sarita enter quarters

 NEW DELHI, June 20: Shiva Thapa (60kg) and L Sarita Devi (60kg) were among the prominent winners as six Indian boxers entered the quarterfinals to make a resounding start at the Ulaanbaatar Cup Tournament in Mongolia today.

Ashish (64kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Salman Sheikh (52kg) joined Shiva in the quarters among the men after clinching contrasting victories.

In the women’s draw, national champion Sarjubala Devi (51kg) and veteran Sarita Devi made the last-eight stage.

Three-time Asian medallist Shiva out-punched local hope Oyunbileg Munkhsaikhan in a unanimous verdict, while Salman took just two rounds to brush aside Korean Young Sik Bae’s challenge.

Ashish was given a tough time by local hope Mendsaikhan Batbayar before he prevailed 3-2, Mandeep gave quite a thrashing to Chinese Taipei’s Hung Ming Pan in his win that took just about two rounds to come through.

All the six boxers are now just one win away from securing themselves a medal. Next up for Shiva is Kyrgyzstan’s Ravshanbek. Salman, on the other hand, will square off against local favourite Gankhuyag Gan-Erdene in the last-eight stage.

Ashish and Mandeep will face Mongolians in Baatarsukh Chinzorig and Bhatkhuyag Sukhkhuyag respectively in the quarterfinals.

Salman, who opened the proceedings for India, was aggressive from the first ring of the bell. Salman unsettled Young with relentless flurry of punches and his withering attack on the Korean, as he lay trapped on the ropes, stood out in the opening round.

The onslaught became too much to take for Young and the bout ended in the second round with the judges ruling unanimously in favour of the Indian.

Shiva, on the other hand, was trademark reticent to start with before building the momentum. The Assam-boxer, one of India’s only four to have won a medal at the World Championships, gradually overpowered his opponent, all the while maintaining a watertight guard. – PTI

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