Punjab's Himanshu shine on Day 1 of 3rd boxing Nationals
Pune : Punjabs Himanshu Sharma, the gold medal winner on his maiden overseas appearance at the Belgrade International Boxing in Serbia earlier this year, made his intentions clear as he boxed his way into the quarter-finals of the 3rd men's boxing Nationals at the AIS rings here on Saturday.
Himanshu defeated Routh Suraj Kumar from West Bengal 5:0 in the Light-fly category (46 kg) without having to sweat it out much in what was a one-sided bout.
On the opening day of the championships that witnessed as many as 39 qualifications round bouts, both Punjab and All India Police (AIP) pugilists dominated the rings with four each of their boxers entering the quarters.
However, Delhi and Manipur were not far behind as three each of their boxers made it to the last eight stages while two boxers each from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and the Services made the cut.
Surprisingly, unconventional boxing states like Odisha, Gujarat, Pondicherry and Karnataka also ensured that their pugilists too made the quarterfinal round. As for the rest of the Northeast, one each from Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland qualified for the knockout round.
Himanshu, a national team boxer was very aggressive from the beginning, traded combination punches on his hapless West Bengal opponent with the latter left to fend for himself all the time. But then the Patiala boxer was very calculative in his approach and just ensured that he moved into the next round.
But the first knockout of the day happened when Arunachal Pradesh's Tara Heli Tana got the verdict in his favour in the second round against Uttar Pradesh's Ankit Chauhan. Besides, there were about half a dozen RSC verdicts on the day while most other bouts were one-sided.
Earlier in the day, a brief opening ceremony was held with boxers representing all states and institutions attending the function.
The National Championships are important for those aspiring boxers who would want to make it to the India squad and subsequently get selected for the Tokyo Olympics.
The semi-final and final bouts are scheduled for November 1 and 2.