Top seed M C Mary Kom (51kg) advanced to the quarterfinals along with L Sarita Devi (60kg) but it was a largely disappointing day for the India’s male boxers at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qian’an on Sunday.
Mary Kom, a five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist, defeated Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay 2-1 in her opening bout.
Also, former Asian champion L Sarita Devi (60kg) got the better of Japan’s Tomoko Kugimiya to enter the last-eight.
However, the Indian men endured another disappointing day with Asian Championships silver-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg), seeded fourth, losing a close bout to local favourite Zhao Minggang. Satish Kumar (+91kg) also failed to get the better of a local boy as he lost to Haipeng Mu.
However, in the 60kg category, Dheeraj brought some cheer in the Indian camp by beating Thailand’s Pachanya Longchin.
A total of 226 boxers from nearly 30 countries are competing in this event, aiming to seal berths for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The continental qualifiers have 30 Olympic berths on offer for men and six for women. This means that the top three boxers in each category from the men’s competition and top two from the women’s draw will make the cut for Rio de Janeiro.
The third slot in each of the men’s category will be decided via a box-off between the bronze-medallists.