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Nitu and Saweety qualify to the semifinals of the women’s boxing world championships, assuring India medals

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With their advancement to the semifinals at the ongoing Women’s Boxing World Championships in New Delhi on Wednesday, Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg) and the seasoned Saweety Boora (81 kg) guaranteed India of two gold. Nitu, the first Indian to enter the ring, defeated Madoka Wada of Japan in the second round of their quarterfinal match via RSC (referee stops contest), securing India at least a bronze medal.

In her opening match of the competition, Saweety lived up to her top seeding by 5-0 defeating Viktoriya Kebikava of Belarus, who had won the bronze medal in 2018. Her victory confirmed Saweety’s second world championship medal. In 2014, she had earned the silver medal.

Sakshi Choudhary, weighing 52kg, and Manisha Moun, who won a bronze medal in the previous edition and weighs 57kg, were unable to advance to the semifinals. Sakshi lost all five rounds to China’s Yu Wu, while Manisha was defeated by France’s Amina Zidani by a score of 1-4.

Initially, Nitu seemed hesitant, but she gradually gained confidence and began attacking. In the first round’s midway point, Nitu, who won the gold medal in the 2022 Strandja Memorial, moved forward and delivered a sequence of precise, clean punches that caused the referee to give Wada her first standing count.

The referee was forced to terminate the fight and award the victory to the home boxer after Nitu landed yet another series of combination blows in the second round.

According to RSC results, Nitu has won each of her three matches so far in the competition. Because Wada was a southpaw like me, I had to be cautious and couldn’t be aggressive, but as the fight came to a close, I felt like I could attack, Nitu said.

The benefit of winning all three of her fights by RSC, according to her, is that her opponents will feel the strain in the subsequent fights.

Saweety, a multiple-time national champion, received a first-round bye and needed just one more win to secure a medal. The 30-year-old boxer won her second match comfortably. Despite a messy and body blow-filled bout with her opponent in the light heavyweight category, Saweety’s defense and attacking skills were impressive, and she landed hooks and jabs with ease.

Later in the day, reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) will be competing to qualify for the semifinals.

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