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Nishant Dev becomes first Indian male boxer to qualify for Paris Olympics 2024

Published at :June 1, 2024 at 12:47 PM
Modified at :June 1, 2024 at 12:47 PM
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(Courtesy : JSW Sports)

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Nishant Dev beat Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari to confirm his place at Paris.

World Championships Bronze medallist Nishant Dev secured a spot at the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024 with a dominating 5:0 win over Moldovan Boxer Vasile Cebotari in the Quarterfinal of the World Olympic Boxing Qualifiers, held in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday. Following his qualification, as many as 13 IIS athletes have secured a place in the Indian contingent for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 26.

With the victory, Nishant also became the first male boxer to secure a berth for Team India at the Paris Olympics, joining three Women’s pugilists Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Sai Pawar (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), who had confirmed their berths by winning bronze medals at the 2022 Asian Games. Incidentally, Preeti Sai Pawar is also a part of the Inspire Institute of Sport.

Twenty-three-year-old Nishant, who competes in the 71 kg category, started his quest for the Paris 2024 Olympics with a dominating 5-0 win over Armando Bighafa of Guinea-Bissau, followed by a knockout of Mongolia’s Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdeneto in the Preliminary Rounds. Dev then beat Thailand’s Peerapat Yeasungnoen 5-0 in the pre-quarterfinal, ahead of Friday’s result.  

“I’m very happy to see Nishant book his place in the Indian contingent for the Paris Olympics. He’s come really close to qualifying previously, and deserves to be there. We’ve been directly involved in Nishant’s progress since he was just 15 years old, and he has turned out to be one of the best boxers in the 71 kg weight category in the world.

“Now that his qualification is secure, we’re going to start focusing on the Games,” said Manisha Malhotra, Head of Sports Excellence and Scouting at JSW Sports.

The boxer from Karnal was among the first batch of athletes to be enrolled in the IIS in 2017 and was just one win away from qualifying for the Paris Olympics at the 1st World Olympic Qualifiers, missing out with a loss to Omari Jones of USA, in the quarterfinal held in Busto Arsizio, Italy, in March.

“This is a moment of immense pride for all of us at IIS because Nishant was among the first athletes to walk through the doors of our facility in 2017. He’s had numerous challenges along the way, and I am really proud of the way he has persevered.

“The coaches, sports science staff and several others at IIS have played a massive part in this journey, and we’re all rooting for him to go on and do big things in Paris,” said Inspire Institute of Sport CEO, Rushdee Warley, speaking on the feat.

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