Men’s trials witness Gaurav Solanki, Vikas Krishnan and Naman Tanwar get one step closer to Tokyo 2020 dreams
The fourth and final day of the BFI trials to decide India’s representatives at the Olympic qualifiers in China, in February, saw three more male pugilists add their names to the list of China-bound boxers.
In the 57kg weight category, it was 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medallist Gaurav Solanki who proved why Md Hussamuddin had only managed bronze at the same event, by outdueling him 7-2 to win by a split decision.
In 69kg, there was no doubt in the minds of the judges as Railway Sports Promotion Board's (RSPB) Vikas Krishnan beat Services Sports Control Board's Duryodhan Singh Negi by a 9-0 unanimous decision.
Finally, in 91kg, Naman Tanwar proved why he was ranked first among equals in his weight class, as he headed into the trials by defeating Sunday's winner Naveen Kumar in a 6-3 split decision.
The winners joined those who already locked themselves in for the Olympic qualifiers on Sunday, due to their weight categories having only two combatants and thus removing the need for an elimination round.
In 75kg, Ashish Kumar of Himachal Pradesh dominated proceedings against Haryana's Ankit Khatana to win by a unanimous 9-0 decision.
In 81kg, after Sumit Sangwan's Tokyo 2020 dreams were crushed following a one-year ban by NADA's anti-doping disciplinary panel, it came down to a bout between SSCB’s Brijesh Yadav and Rajasthan’s Sachin Kumar. And it was Kumar who outdueled Yadav to win by a 6-3 split decision.
Finally, in 91+ kg, Satish Kumar got the better of his Services Sports Control Board teammate Narender in a 6-3 split decision.
While the above pugilists had to slog it out in the trials for a place in the qualifiers, Manish Kaushik and Amit Panghal were exempted, thanks to their medal-winning performances at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships, back in September, and will appear directly at the qualifiers.