Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) on Thursday became the second Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games after advancing to the semifinals of the AIBA World Qualifying Tournament in Baku.
Later, Vikas Krishan also qualified for the Olympics after blanking Lee Dongyun 3-0 in the 75kg category making him the third one.
Another berth in boxing.Vikas krishan(75kg) secures 3rd Rio berth in boxing 4 India @ world Oly qualifying round at Baku.Congrats!!— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) June 23, 2016
Manoj thrashed Tajikistan’s Rakhimov Shavkatdzhon in the quarterfinal 3-0. He will next face European champion Pat McCormack of Britain in the semifinal tomorrow. McCormack defeated Frenchman Amzile Hassan in his quarterfinal bout.
Vikas, on the other hand, will be up against Turkmenistan’s Achilov Arslanbek, who got past Italian Cavallaro Salvatore in his quarter-final contest.
“Given the terrible state in which boxing is right now, I am relieved to have qualified for the Games. There was lot of pressure on the team which is competing here and I am glad that came good,” said Manoj.
I am immensely thankful to the coaches, the Sports Ministry, the national coaching staff, the Sports Authority of India and my personal coach Rajesh, who is also my elder brother. Their efforts have helped me pull it off
National coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu described the duo’s performance today as a dominating one.
“Manoj dominated all three rounds and boxed intelligently to win and qualify for the Games. Vikas was similarly commanding in his performance and sailed past his opponent”, Sandhu said.