As many as nine Indian pugilists will be seen at the Olympics later this year after starring performances in the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman.
The Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan proved to be a very fruitful outing for the Indian boxers with nine of them - five men and four women - reaching the necessary rounds in various weight categories to become eligible for an appearance at Tokyo 2020.
The sport is seen as one of India’s strengths with many boxers having the potential to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and they did not disappoint at the first hurdle - qualifying for the Games.
Following are the Indian boxers qualified for the Olympics at Tokyo 2020:
The last time Mary Kom qualified for an Olympics at London 2012, she returned home with a bronze medal in the 51kg and the six-time flyweight world champion will hope her second coming in the Games at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will yield at least a similar, if not better, result.
Coming into the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers after winning a highly publicized bout with younger compatriot Nikhat Zareen, the veteran Indian boxer was in her elements in her quarter-final match at Amman.
Mary Kom outplayed her Filipino rival Irish Magno over three rounds, coming out on top in a closely contested first round before landing multiple blows in the subsequent two to ensure her appearance at the 2020 Olympics.
The first among the women boxers to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, Pooja Rani did so with a dominating victory, on Women’s Day no less, over Thai Pornnipa Chutee at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers quarter-finals.
The gold medallist at the Asian championships in the light heavyweight category was not able to qualify for Rio 2016 but ensured that she did not miss out this time around.
The Indian boxing contingent saw a second woman qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the welterweight category in the form of Lovlina Borgohain.
The 23-year-old Indian boxer’s stocks rose after a quarter-final run at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she lost to eventual welterweight gold medallist Sandy Ryan.
She went on to win bronze in both the 2018 and 2019 World Championships and booked her ticket to Tokyo with a unanimous win over Maftunakhon Melieva of Uzbekistan at the quarters of the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers.
The last Indian boxer among the women, so far, certain to make an appearance at Olympics 2020 is lightweight boxer Simranjit Kaur.
A silver medallist in the light welterweight categories at the 2019 Asian Championships, the 25-year-old took some time to get going in her quarter-final bout against Mongolian Namuun Monkhor.
However, once she settled into a rhythm she displayed good reflexes and fought intelligently to ensure that she will fly to Tokyo
The biggest hope to emerge among the Indian boxers in the past couple of years, Amit Panghal qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, his debut at the Games, after a comeback in his quarter-final match against Carlo Paalam of the Philippines.
The Asian Games gold medallist lost the first round at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers but came back with some counter punches to earn the victory and with it, a ticket to Tokyo.
The 25-year-old Indian boxer has risen from strength to strength since winning the National Boxing Championship in 2017. Bronze at the 2017 Asian Championships was followed by a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, golds at the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Asian Championships and another silver at the 2019 World Championships.
He will be looking to emulate Mary Kom with an Olympics medal in his debut appearance and undoubtedly possesses the requisite skills to do so.
A third appearance at the Games beckoned for veteran Indian boxer Vikas Krishan, who made sure of his place at Olympics 2020 with a quarter-final victory at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers over Japan’s Quincy Okazawa.
The only other Indian boxer other than Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Vijender Singh to qualify for three Olympics, Vikas Krishan had to fight hard against Okazawa to earn his place.
A gold medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Vikas Krishan, who had switched to professional boxing before deciding to make a comeback, went only as far as the quarter-finals at Rio 2016 and will be hoping to go at least one better at the 2020 Olympics.
One of the most satisfying stories to come out of the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers has been that of Ashish Kumar, who qualified for the 2020 Olympics to fulfil his late father’s dream.
The Indian boxer, who revealed that he lost his father a month before the qualifiers, channelled the grief into his gloves, overcoming the challenge of Indonesia’s Maikhel Muskita in the quarter-finals.
A medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would be the icing on top of the cake but the Indian boxer will no doubt have to repeat his feats in the Games if he wants to fulfil his medal hopes.
Satish Kumar became the first Indian boxer to qualify for the Games in the super heavyweight category after he confirmed his appearance at the 2020 Olympics with a convincing win over Otgonbayer Daivii in the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers quarter-finals.
The Arjuna Awardee was nimble in his approach and will be raring to add to a medal tally that includes bronze at the 2014 Asian Games.
Manish Kaushik became the ninth and the last Indian boxer to qualify for the 2020 Olympics after he edged past second seed Harry Garside of Australia by a split decision in his box-off bout of the Men’s lightweight (57-63kg) category at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan.
The 2019 World Championship bronze medallist started the qualifiers on a strong note by beating Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai. However, his momentum was halted by Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh, who humbled Manish Kaushik in the quarter-finals.
However, with as many as six places available in the men’s category Manish Kaushik got another chance at sealing the 2020 Olympics berth through a playoff bout with fellow quarterfinalist Garside.