World Championship silver medallist Sonia Chahal and Asian Games gold winner Amit Panghal will spearhead a 20-member Indian boxing team at the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok, starting 17.
Former World Championship medallists Sarita Devi and Shiva Thapa will also be part of the event that concludes on April 26.
Panghal will be making his competitive debut in the 52kg category while Shiva (60kg) will eye a record-breaking fourth successive medal. The former world championship bronze-medallist from Assam has won medals in three previous editions – gold in 2013, bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017.
Former world junior champion and gold medallist at the Strandja Memorial Cup, Nikhat Zareen (51Kg) is also there while two-time youth world championships gold medallist, Nitu, is a bright prospect in 48kg. The 54kg challenge will be led by her state mate and World Championship quarterfinalist, Manisha.
India’s hopes in 64kg will rest on Punjab’s Simranjit Kaur and Assam’s Lovlina Borgohain, bronze medallist in 2017, in 69kg. Haryana boxer Nupur is making her debut and Pooja Rani will eye her third title as they secured berths in 75kg and 81 kg respectively. Experienced boxer, Seema Poonia will be vying for the title in the 81+kg category.
In the men’s section, the 49kg category will be represented by Deepak Singh, who clinched a gold medal in the Makran Cup in Iran last month while Kavinder Singh Bisht, the gold-winner in the GeeBee Tournament, has been picked for the 56kg category.
The Commonwealth Games silver-medallist, Satish Kumar was the choice for the +91kg division. Satish won a bronze medal at the 2015 edition of the Asian Championships.
Rohit Tokas (64kg), Ashish (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Brijesh Yadav (81kg), and Naman Tanwar (91kg) will represent India in the remaining weight categories.
After seven successful editions, the women’s competition will be held simultaneously as the men for the first time. In the last edition, the Indian women grabbed a total of seven medals that included one gold, one silver and five bronze.