Indian boxers in auspicious Asian start in Commonwealth Games

Asian boxers from India led by Women’s World Champion Nikhat Zareen and her neophyte teammate, Sagar Ahlawat opened their campaigns with exciting wins in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

India has one of the strongest teams in the Games, with several well-known stars in their 12-strong team. 

Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka are the other Asian nations in the competition.

Although Zareen is the defending Women’s World Champion at the flyweight (52kg) division, the category is not included in the official program of the Commonwealth Games so the 26-year-old Indian had to move down to the light flyweight (50kg) class. 

Zareen was much quicker than Mozambique’s Helena Ismael Bagao and effectively countered her forward-moving African foe to earn the nod of the judges.

“I am really happy to win my first bout. I am looking forward to my next contest  against a Welsh boxer. I have big targets here, same as in Istanbul. I am really proud to represent my country in this Commonwealth Games and I am ready to take the gold medal,” Zareen said after the fight.

Her teammate Sagar Ahlawat is competing in his first international competition, but pulled off a convincing win in the super heavyweight (+92kg) division. 

The 23-year-old boxer scored a knockdown against Cameroon’s Olympian Maxime Yegnong in the first round and although the game African was able to continue, the Indian had no problems sustaining his advantage in the entire fight.

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