75th Strandja Memorial boxing: Nikhat, Sakshi begin campaigns on winning note

Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 5 – Reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen and Sakshi Chaudhary began their campaign with contrasting wins at the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Monday.

Nikhat was up against Mongolia’s Oyuntsetseg Yesugen in the 50kg bout. Both the boxers came with an attacking intent as they delivered powerful blows at every opportunity.

The boxers were at their attacking best and didn’t give any breathing space to each other. However, it was the reigning World Champion Nikhat who eventually triumphed with a 3-2 split decision verdict. Nikhat will now face Lkhadiri Wassila of France in her quarterfinal bout on Thursday.

Sakshi (57kg), on the other hand, outclassed Selmouni Chahira of Algeria with her swift moments and surprise attacks. She dominated the match throughout to clinch an easy 5-0 unanimous decision win to enter the quarterfinals. She will now take on Mamajonova Khumorabonu of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Preeti (54kg) fought a tough battle against Fay Niamh of Ireland. Both the pugilists had their moments in the first two rounds with Fay taking the lead early on. Preeti did make a remarkable comeback in the third round with all five judges tilting in her favour, but it wasn’t enough as she bowed out of the tournament with a 2-3 loss.

In a surprising turn of events Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) got disqualified in the third round of her pre-quarterfinal match after three warnings of excessive grappling against Ireland’s O’Rourke Aoife. Manisha (60kg) and Arundhati Choudhary (66kg) will be in action later tonight against France’s Zidani Amina and Sonvico Emilie, respectively.

Late on Sunday, Jugnoo (86kg) secured a hard-fought 3-2 win over Kocharian Ashot of Ukraine in the round of 16 clash. He will now face Djalolov Samandar of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

On Tuesday, three male boxers will kick start their campaign in their respective round of 16 matches. Sachin (57kg) will take on Uzbekistan’s Fayzov Khudoynazar, Vanshaj (63.5kg) will face Iran’s Habibinezhad Ali and Sagar (92+kg) will square off against Jazeviciius Jonas of Lithuania

The Strandja Memorial Tournament is one of Europe’s oldest international sports competitions and is witnessing the participation of over 300 pugilists from 30 countries.

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