Pradhan and Sandakelum are the surprise finalists at the light heavyweight of the South Asian Games

The second part of the semi-finals was held in the third competition day of the 13th edition of the South Asian Games was held in the capital city of Nepal in Kathmandu. Fourteen further contests were held on Day3 when Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan and Sri Lanka’s Wanni Arachchige Rumesh Sandakelum delivered tough surprises in the semi-finals of the men’s light heavyweight (81kg).

Altogether 24 female and 49 male boxers will be attending in the multisport event in Kathmandu. Nepal hosted the South Asian Games in Kathmandu in 1999 and after 20 years of break the event returned to their capital city. The last edition of the South Asian Games was held in Shillong, India on February 2016.

India is the boxing power in the South Asian region and some of their stars are involved to attend in the Games, but Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, host Nepal and Bangladesh also have experienced hopes. The boxing tournament of the South Asian Games is scheduled in six female and ten men’s weight classes in Kathmandu.

India’s Pinky Jangra Rani and Nepal’s Mala Rai are the finalists at the women’s flyweight (51kg)
India’s best flyweight (51kg) boxers are six-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte and former AIBA Women’s Junior World Champion Nikhat Zareen but Pinky Jangra Rani is also a superb girl in this category. She has been attending in the international events since 2011 therefore she was too experienced for Pakistan’s Razia Bano Aziz in the semi-finals. Rani advanced to the final of the South Asian Games and will be meeting for the title of the event with Nepal’s Mala Rai who eliminated Sri Lanka’s Kosala Nilmini.

Sri Lanka’s female finalist is Krismi Ayomi Dulanjani Dharmathilake
Sri Lanka’s best girls were eliminated during the semi-finals of the South Asian Games but Lankapurayalage Krismi Ayomi Dulanjani Dharmathilake has done better job in the third day of boxing. The 28-year-old boxer moved down to the featherweight (57kg) and the ASBC Asian Confederation Women’s Boxing Championships competitor became finalist in Kathmandu. Dharmathilake followed her tactic against Nepal’s Chandra Kala Thapa in the semi-final and her hand was raised after the last gong. The Sri Lankan boxer, who had more than 100 bouts during her career already, will be meeting for the title of the event with India’s Astana 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Sonia Lather Singh.

Pakistan’s Asif ad Zaib are finalists in Kathmandu
Pakistan’s Syed Muhammad Asif boxed already all levels of boxing excluding the Olympic Games during her career and prepared well to the South Asian Games. The 26-year-old Pakistani flyweight (52kg) boxer had to do his very best to eliminate Sri Lanka’s teenage hope Kuda Vithanage Lasindu Eranda. Asif won their tough contest by split decision which means he can box for the title of the category with India’s Sparsh Kumar who bowed out Nepal’s experienced Tej Bahadur Deuba. His teammate Gul Zaib is Pakistan’s best welterweight (69kg) hope who controlled his semi-final over Bangladesh’s Mohamed Abdur Rahim and has the chance to box in the final with India’s star Vikas Krishan Yadav.

Surprises at the men’s light heavyweight (81kg)
Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan became the first boxer in the whole South Asian Games who could beat an Indian rival in the event. The Nepali light heavyweight (81kg) boxer was slightly better than his Indian opponent and delivered a sensation in the third day of boxing delighting the home crowd in Kathmandu. Wanni Arachchige Rumesh Sandakelum had disadvantage after the first round in all scorecards against Pakistan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships competitor Awais Ali Khan but in the second the Sri Lankan knocked out his favourite rival delivering the second surprise of the weight class.

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Boxing2019 - South Asian Games Session 3 Results