Youth boxers clinched six gold, nine silver and five bronze in the tournament.
Preeti Dahiya and three other youth women boxers emerged champions on the final day as the Indian contingent concluded their successful campaign at the 2021 ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships with 39 medals, including 14 gold, in Dubai.
India had already won 19 medals, including eight gold, five silver and six bronze medals, in the junior event played earlier at the Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships. The youth boxers added 20 more medals (six gold, nine silver and five bronze) to India’s tally at the prestigious continental event, where both the age groups—junior and youth—were played together for the first time.
After Bishwamitra Chongtham (51kg) won India’s first gold in the last seven years in the youth men’s category at the Asian Championships and Vishal (80kg) added one more yellow metal to the tally, Neha (54kg) handed the country gold in the youth women’s event played late on Monday night. She managed to win against Kazakhstan’s Aishagul Yeleubayeva by a split 3-2 decision.
Later, Preeti Dahiya struck another gold with a similar victory in the 60kg final against the 2021 Youth World Championships silver medallist Zuldyz Shayakhmetova of Kazakhstan. Sneha Kumari (66kg) and Khushi (75kg) too claimed convincing victories in their respective finals to bag gold medals. While Sneha registered Referee Stopping the Contest (RSC) win over local favourite Rahmah Almurshidi, Khushi blanked Kazakhstan’s Dana Diday.
“This has been a brilliant outing for our junior and youth boxers. Winning 39 medals at the Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships is a commendable achievement and it only shows the depth of boxing talent we have in India. As a federation, we are committed to identify and promote more and more youngsters from across the country, ensuring the best coaching and guidance to groom them into future champions at the elite level,” said BFI President Ajay Singh.
“I’m sure the valuable experience gained in such a big tournament will help these boxers to curve a strong path for themselves. On behalf of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), I congratulate all the winners once again and the coaches and support staff for this successful campaign, and wish them good luck for future tournaments.”
Meanwhile other youth boxers in action on the final day, Vishvanath Suresh (48kg), Nivedita Karki (48kg), Tamanna (50kg), Simran Verma (52kg), Preeti (57kg), Khushi (63kg), Vanshaj (64kg), Jaydeep Rawat (71kg) and Tanishbir Kaur Sandhu (81kg) signed off with silver medals.
Earlier five boxers, including one woman, claimed bronze medals in the youth event after finishing in the semi-finals. Among men, Daksh Singh (67kg), Deepak (75kg), Abhimanyu Loura (92kg) and Aman Singh Bisht (92+kg) bagged bronze medals while Lashu Yadav (70kg) ended with a bronze in the women’s category.
With 20 medals in the youth event, India also bettered their last edition’s medals tally of 12 medals, including five gold, achieved in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2019. The gold medallists in the youth category will be awarded USD 6,000 while USD 3,000 and USD 1,500 will be given to the silver and bronze medal winners respectively. However, gold, silver and bronze medal winners in the junior event were awarded USD 4,000 while USD 2,000 and 1,000 respectively.
The championships witnessed the presence of pugilists from strong boxing nations like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to name a few. The event also served as the much-needed competitive tournament for the promising young talents at the Asian level after a gap of almost two years lost due to the pandemic.