Indian boxers will be vying for as many as four gold medals at the Cologne Boxing World Cup heading into the final day of the tournament in Germany.
AIBA flyweight world No. 1 Amit Panghal had already secured his place in the men’s 52kg final on the opening day and on Friday, Satish Kumar (men’s +91kg) and Simranjit Kaur (women’s 60kg) joined their Tokyo Olympics-bound compatriot on the list of finalists.
Superheavyweight Satish, who beat Moldova’s Alexei Zavatin in the quarter-finals, trumped French pugilist Djamel-Dini Aboudou 4-1 in the semis to earn a place in the final. The Commonwealth Games silver-medallist will face 21-year-old German boxer Nelvie Tiafack in the gold medal bout.
Simranjit, meanwhile, secured her shot at the gold medal after besting Ukraine’s Marianna Basanets by a 4-1 margin. The 2018 world championships bronze medallist meets German pugilist Maya Kleinhans in the final.
The women’s 57kg division will see an all-Indian final with Manisha and Sakshi facing off in the summit clash.
Manisha overcame fellow Indian Sonia Lather in the semi-finals while Sakshi got ther better of Germany’s Graff Ramona to earn her gold medal shot.
Tokyo-bound Pooja Rani, however, had to endure disappointment on Friday as she lost her semi-final bout in the women’s 75kg category to the Netherlands' Nouchka Fontijn and settled for bronze.
The Indian challenge in men’s 57kg also fizzled out after Gaurav Solanki lost to France’s Samuel Kistohurry and Mohamed Hussamuddin went down to local favourite Hamsat Shadalov in the top four. Both Indians settled for bronze.
The Cologne Boxing World Cup is the Indian contingent’s last stop in its training-cum-exposure camp in Europe, designed to prepare for Tokyo.
The boxers have been training at Italy’s Olympic Centre in Assisi and participated at the Alexis Vastine international boxing tournament in Nantes, France, in October, where they won three golds, one silver and three bronze medals.