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Nikhat Zareen, Lovlina enter finals in women’s boxing nationals

Bhopal: Reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain continued their fine run to progress to the finals of Women’s National Championships here on Sunday.

Eight Railways boxers, including 2019 World Championships silver medallist Manju Rani (48kg) and 2017 World Youth Champion Jyoti Gulia (52kg), also made it to the summit clash here.

Nikhat (50 kg), who is representing Telangana, comfortably won 5-0 against AIP’s Shvinder Kaur to set up a summit clash with Anamika for the coveted yellow metal.

Assam’s Lovlina (75 kg) too had an easy outing against Madhya Pradesh’s Jigyasa Rajput as she dictated the terms throughout the bout and won by unanimous decision to advance to the finals.

She will be up against 2021 World Youth Champion Arundhati Choudhary of SSCB in the gold medal bout.

Defending Champions Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), however, dominated the proceedings with eight of their boxers producing some sensational performance in the tournament.

Manju showed great composure against Madhya Pradesh’s Anjali Sharma in a one-sided bout. She played from long range and convincingly won the bout 5-0 to set up a final date with S Kalaivani of Tamil Nadu.

Jyoti started on the backfoot against Uttar Pradesh’s Sonia and took some time to gauge her opponent’s strategy.

However, she bounced back in the last two rounds, played from close distance and landed regular punches to secure a 4-1 verdict in her favour.

She will square off against SSCB’s Sakshi in the final.

The other 6 Railways boxers who moved into the finals are Anupama (50 kg), Shikhsa (54kg), Poonam (60 kg), Shashi (63 kg), Anupama (81 kg) and Nupur (81+kg).

Last year’s World Championships bronze medallist Manisha (57 kg) and World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur (60 kg) also continued their good run to make it to the final.

Manisha defeated RSPB’s Sonia Lather 4-1 in a close bout and will fight against Vinakshi of Himachal Pradesh in the final, while Simranjit got the better of AIP’s Kros Hmangaihsangi with a comfortable 5-0 unanimous verdict.

She will take on RSPB’s Poonam in the summit clash.

The on-going prestigious event has been witnessing participation of 302 boxers, competing across 12 weight categories. The finals will be played on Monday.