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    Parveen seals Olympic berth, assures India of medal in boxing; Nikhat bows out in semis


    Indian boxer Parveen Hooda secured a Paris Olympic quota and a medal by reaching the semifinals of the 57kg category at the Asian Games. However, Nikhat Zareen lost in the semifinals and settled for a bronze in the women's 50kg category. Jaismine Lamboria also exited the competition after a referee stopped her quarterfinal bout.

    Hangzhou: India’s Parveen Hooda (red) during the Women’s 54-57kg Boxing Quarterf...PTI
    Indian boxer Parveen Hooda
    World Championship bronze medallist boxer Parveen Hooda assured India of a medal and also grabbed a Paris Olympic quota by moving into the 57kg semifinals, but Nikhat Zareen bowed out in the semifinals at the Asian Games here on Sunday. Parveen, who won the bronze medal in the 63kg at the 2022 World Boxing Championships, moved past Uzbekistan's Sitora Turdibekova by unanimous verdict in the quarterfinal.

    However, Zareen, competing in the women's 50kg category, had to settle for bronze after losing to Rakast Chuthamat of Thailand.

    The Thai girl won 2-1 on split decision in the semifinal contest. Zareen had won the first round, but her rival emerged the victor in the two following rounds.

    Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria, however, crashed out of the 60kg contest after conceding a second round RSC (referee stops contest) to North Korean boxer Won Ungyong in her quarterfinal bout.

    Parveen, the reigning Asian champion was in her elements from the word go, using her long arms to throw punches from a distance and control the proceedings.

    She switched between the left jab and the right cross to unnerve the 21-year-old Uzbek.

    Parveen fought a strategic bout as after going on the offensive in the opening round, she waited for Turdibekova to come forward, only to pummel her with accurate scoring punches.

    Turdibekova did make a strong comeback by landing several blows on Parveen, but it wasn't enough to convince the judges to rule the bout in her favour.

    After winning the first round 5-0, Jaismine asked for her headgear to be adjusted but once that was done, the Indian lost concentration as she was hit by a series of hooks and jabs by Won.

    Jaismine lost energy, becoming a standing target for Won as the referee gave the Indian three standing counts in less than a minute before calling off the contest.

    The two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg ) and Narender Berwal (+92kg) have already secured Olympic quotas in their respective categories.

    In women's events, the semifinalists in the 50kg, 54kg, 57kg, and 60kg, as well as the finalists in the 66kg and 75kg, will qualify for the Paris Olympics.

    The gold and silver medallists in each of the seven weight divisions in the men's event will receive Olympic quotas.
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