Shiva Thapa, Lovlina in Indian boxing squad for Asian Championships

Veteran Shiva Thapa and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will spearhead the Indian men’s and women’s challenge respectively at the Asian Boxing Championship next month.

The selection trials for the continental showpiece slated to take place in Amman, Jordan from October 30 to November 12, were held at NIS Patiala from Thursday to Saturday.

The likes of reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen, three-time Asian Championship medallist Amit Panghal and Birmingham Commonwealth Games medallists Rohit Tokas and Sagar Ahlawat skipped the trials.

While Zareen has given the tournament a miss to get some much-needed rest, Panghal, Tokas and Ahlawat are nursing injuries, a Boxing Federation of India (BFI) source told PTI.

Thapa is a five-time Asian medallist. His haul includes a gold, two silver and as many bronze medals.

In the last edition, he secured a fifth successive medal, a silver, at the prestigious event, becoming the most successful Indian male boxer in the history of the tournament.

The only other male pugilist with five Asian championship medals is Kazakh legend Vassiliy Levit, an Olympic silver medallist and two-time world bronze medal winner.

Two-time Commonwealth bronze medallist Md. Hussamuddin (57kg) is the other prominent name in the men’s squad.

Borgohain, will have a point to prove after enduring two underwhelming tournaments — the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

The 24-year old, who returned with a bronze medal in the last edition, will be competing in the 75kg weight class as she begins preparation for the Paris Olympics, which will not feature her welterweight 69kg category.

The women’s team also features world championship bronze medallist Parveen Hooda (63kg) and Youth World Boxing champion Alfiya Pathan.

The Indian contingent is likely to leave for Amman mid October for a 15-day training camp ahead of the tournament.

Men: Govind Sahani (48kg), Sparsh Kumar (51kg), Sachin (54kg), Md. Hussamuddin (57kg), Etash Khan (60kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Amit Kumar (67kg), Sachin (71kg), Sumit (75kg), Lakshya C (80kg), Kapil P (86kg), Naveen K (92kg), Narender (+92kg).

Women: Monika (48kg), Savita (50kg), Minakshi (52kg), Sakshi (54kg), Preeti (57kg), Simranjit (60kg), Parveen (63kg), Ankushita Boro (66kg), Pooja (70kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Saweety (81kg), Alfiya (+81kg).

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