Boxer Amit Panghal made history by becoming the first Indian male boxer to reach the final of AIBA World Boxing Championships.
With this win, the Indian has assured himself a berth in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, since according to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) boxers who win medals at the World Championships will be automatic picks for the Olympic qualifiers scheduled in February in China.
“Yes, Amit and Manish will be going to the qualifiers. There will not be any trials in their weight categories now,” Indian Boxing’s High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.
Panghal will also get at least a sliver medal by defeating Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the 52kg cateogry by split decision (3-2) in semi-final in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Friday (September 20).
The Asian Games gold medallist, is the first Indian male boxer to have crossed the semi-final barrier and has hence surpassed World Championships bronze medalists Vijender Singh, Vikas Krishan, Shiva Thapa and Gaurav Bidhuri.
Meanwhile, Manish Kaushik who lost 5-0 in the 63kg category in the semi-final bout to former world champion and top seed Andy Cruz Gomes of Cuba, thus became the sixth Indian male boxer to clinch a medal at the World Championships.
Panghal and Kaushik created history for the country in the ongoing tournament by reaching the semi-final as India till date has not won more than a single medal in a single edition at the world meet.
Panghla will now face Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the defending Olympic gold medalist, in the event final on Saturday (September 20) in Ekaterinburg.
The rest of the Olympic squad will be picked on the basis of camp performance and points accumulated at international events or sometimes even trials.