Cologne, Apr 12:
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani (51kg) and reigning youth world champion Sakshi (57kg) assured India of two more medals at the Cologne Boxing World Cup by entering the semifinals here on Thursday.
Continuing her impeccable form, the India Open gold medallist Pinki Rani put up yet another dominating performance to blank Thailand’s Phunsang Cahiranchaya 5-0 in the quarter-final bout.
The 18-year-old Sakshi won in contrasting fashion as she faced some stiff resistance from Cecille Kelle of Denmark. The Indian had to dig deep to stave off the Dane’s challenge before she won by a split decision on points.
The Indian contingent is already confirmed of at least a silver and a bronze after Meena Kumari Maisnam and Pwilao Basumatary reached the final and semi-finals in the 54kg and 64kg respectively.
With only three boxers in the fray in the 54kg category, the Strandja Memorial gold medallist Maisnam was directly placed in the final.
Similarly, due to the 64kg category having just five pugilists, Basumatary, a bronze medallist at Strandja Memorial, is already through to the semi-finals.
Earlier in the day, the talented Anjali Tushir’s campaign came to an end following her 0-5 loss to Yvonne Baek Rasmussen of Denmark in the opening round of the 69kg category.
India has sent a seven-member team to this prestigious European event following a healthy haul of six medals from the erstwhile Chemistry Cup held at Halle last year. Gaurav Solanki (52kg) and Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) were the only Indians to stand on the top podium in the last edition.
Twenty one nations have taken part across 17 weight categories at this tournament, which will help elite boxers to hone their skills ahead of the World Championships later this year.