Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom and Asian Games gold-medallist Amit Panghal are among 12 Indian boxers who stand just a win away from securing medals at the Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain after finding themselves in quarterfinals when draws for the event were unveiled. The tournament features all of India’s nine Tokyo Olympics-bound boxers along with five others. Mary Kom (51kg), competing for the first time since qualifying for the Olympics last year, will take on Italian Giordana Sorrentino in her opening bout on Wednesday.
Panghal (52kg), who won a gold medal at the Cologne World Cup in Germany in December last year, will be facing local favourite Gabriel Escobar in his quarterfinal clash after getting an opening-round bye.
Vikas Krishan (69kg), another strong medal contender for Tokyo, is also in the quarters after getting a bye and will take on Vincenzo Mangiacapre of Italy.
Also through to quarters due to the relatively small size of the draw were Asian silver-medallist Ashish Kumar (75kg), and Sumit Sangwan (81kg), who is returning to competition after enduring a period of turmoil due to a doping suspension that was later lifted after he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Of the two, Ashish is bound for Tokyo along with Satish Kumar (+91kg), the first super heavyweight from the country to qualify for the quadrennial showpiece.
Satish is also in quarters at this tournament.
Joining them in the last-eight stage is Sanjeet (91kg), a promising name coming up who found spotlight with his India Open gold in 2019.
Among the women, Jasmine and Manisha, in the 57kg category, are also through to the quarters after getting byes.
The Olympic-bound trio of Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) will also be competing in the quarterfinal stage on Wednesday.
Manish Kaushik (63kg), assured of a Tokyo spot and making a comeback after an injury layoff, did not get a bye and will fight Spaniard Abdellaoui Raddouane for a place in the quarters on Tuesday.
Also in action would be Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg), who will be up against another local hope in Joan Manuel Torres.
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