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Nikhat Zareen, Shiva Thapa enter quarters of Strandja Memorial

Nikhat Zareen (51kg) on Wednesday sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament after her rival Sevda Asenova abandoned their second-round bout in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Nikhat Zareen sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament. (File Photo)

Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg) and defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) on Wednesday sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament with resounding victories in their second-round bouts in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Also making the quarters was national medallist Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) after a comprehensive 5-0 triumph over Ireland’s Kieran Molloy.

Zareen was declared the winner after local favourite Sevda Asenova forfeited during the opening round of the contest. Asenova was a former gold-medallist at the event, which is into its 71st edition this year.

Former world bronze-medallist Thapa defeated Poland’s Pavel Polakovic 5-0 in his last 16 stage clash. He had received an opening-round bye.

In other men’s bouts, Commonwealth Games bronze-winner Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) advanced after defeating France’s Enzo Grau in a 1-4 verdict.

There was disappointment elsewhere as India endured six opening-round defeats on Tuesday evening.

Among the men, South Asian Games gold-medallist Ankit Khatana (75kg), Asian silver-medallist Deepak Kumar (52kg), Narender (+91kg), and Naveen Kumar (91kg) made early exits.

Nupur (75kg) and Lalita (69kg) were the ones to bow out in the women’s draw. Nupur was outpunched 0-5 by France’s Davina Michel, while Lalita lost 1-4 to Poland’s Karolina Koszewska.

Khatana was beaten 0-5 by the USA’s Javier Martinez. Narender also lost by a similar margin to another American — Richard Torrez Jr.

Deepak went down 1-4 to Spain’s Gabriel Escobar. Naveen lost 0-5 to Italy’s Abbes Mouhiidine.

More than 30 countries are taking part in the tournament, featuring over 250 boxers.

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