Boxers Nikhat, Amit Panghal storm into finals; Jaismine bags bronze
Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen and Amit Panghal were among three Indian boxers who entered the finals while Jaismine Lamboria settled for bronze at the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
Nikhat stormed into the final of womens 50kg after outclassing Englands Stubley Alfia Savannah 5-0. Panghal (51kg), too, displayed his class as he reached his second consecutive CWG final.
Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) also remained on course for a gold in her maiden appearance.
But another debutant, Jaismine (60kg), had to be content with a bronze as she went down to Gemma Paige Richardson of England via a 2-3 split verdict.
Nikhat started the semifinal on a confident note and dominated all three rounds to emerge the winner in the lop-sided bout.
As expected, the 26-year-old Indian was in lead after the opening round with all the five judges ruling it in her favour, and it went on similar lines in the ensuing two rounds.
Panghal, who is vying to win the yellow metal after his silver in the last edition, came from behind to beat an aggressive Patrick Chinyemba of Zambia with a 5-0 unanimous decision win.
Nitu, on the other hand, prevailed over Canadas Priyanka Dhillon as she notched a RSC (Referee Stops Contest) win in the minimum weight category.
Such was the 21-year-old Nitus confidence that she played with an open guard, inviting her opponent to strike while using her straight jabs and combination punches to great effect. In the end, the referee had to end the contest.
In pursuit of their maiden gold medals, both the boxers will have to overcome local challengers in Kiaran Macdonald (mens fly) and Demie-Jade Resztan (womens minimum) in their respective finals on Sunday.
“I know it would be tough, there would be loud cheers for him but Ive to stay focused. Cant let it go this time,” a determined Panghal, who lost to another Briton and Tokyo Olympics champion in Galal Yafai in 2018, told
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