Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 25 (IANS) India’s Anamika and Anupama secured monumental victories to storm into the finals of the ongoing 74th Strandja Memorial International Boxing Tournament, here on Saturday.
Going up against Wassila Lkhadiri of France in the 50kg category, Anamika had a cautious start to the bout but showcased immense grit to make a fightback in the second round. The Indian utilised her quick movement to dodge the two-time EUBC Championships bronze medallist’s punches whilst attacking smartly to gain control of the contest.
With a dominating performance in the third round, Anamika defeated her French opponent by 4-1 to advance to the finals. She will face Hu Meiyi of China in the final on Sunday.
Similar to her national teammate, Anupama had to be at her razor-sharp best in her clash against the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist Jessica Bagley of Australia. In what was a closely contested bout between two pugilists of supreme technical ability, it was the Indian who got the better of her opponent with her attacking intent and confident approach.
Displaying stellar strength and landing accurate punches, Anupama managed to keep the Australian at bay and grinded out an impressive 3:2 victory by split decision. She will now take on Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in the final of the 81kg category.
In the other semi-final bouts, S Kalaivani, Shruti Yadav, and Monika suffered identical 0-5 defeats and bowed out of the competition despite their best efforts.
While Kalaivani lost against the 2022 Asian Youth silver medallist Saidakhon Rakhmonova of Uzbekistan in the 48kg category, Shruti went down fighting against the 2022 European silver medallist Christina Desmond of Ireland in the 70kg category.
Monika was beaten by Aynur Rzayeva of Azerbaijan in the +81kg category.
Later tonight, three more Indian pugilists will take to the ring to compete in their respective semi-final bouts.
In the 48kg category, the 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Govind Kumar Sahani will be facing Luka Kublashvili of Georgia while the 2021 Asian Youth champion Bishwamitra Chongtham will be squaring off against the 2020 Olympian Quiroga Ramon Nicanor of Argentina in the 51kg category.
The 2021 World Youth champion Sachin will go head to head against the two-time European Youth champion Yasen Radev of Bulgaria in the 54kg category.