Nur-Sultan [Kazakhstan], June 29 (ANI): Indian boxers Simranjit Kaur and Ananta Chopade kickstarted their campaigns with contrasting victories in the opening round at the inaugural edition of Elorda Cup in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
The 2018 World Championships bronze medallists Simranjit lived up to favourite's tag with a dominating start in the tournament. She pulled off a comprehensive win against the local boxer Ischanova Nazym by unanimous decision in the women's 60kg encounter.
Whereas, in the country's first bout of the day, Ananta dealt with a stiff challenge from the Mongolian pugilist Dorjnyambuu Ganbold. However, the Indian kept his cool during an intensely fought men's 54kg thriller and eventually managed to tilt the result in his favour by a narrow 3-2 verdict.
Simranjit and Ananta will now square off against China's Xu Zichun and Kazakhstan's Altynbek Nursultan respectively in their quarter-finals matches.
Meanwhile, three other Indian pugilists suffered opening-round defeats. Muhammed Etash Khan (60kg), Kaisham Johnson Singh (63.5kg) and Manjeet Singh (+92kg) lost to their respective Kazakh opponents--Samchuk Vassily, Bazarbai Uulu Mukhammedsabyr and Saparbay Nurlan, by a similar 0-5 margin in the men's category.
A 33-member Indian contingent, including 12 men, has been participating at the ongoing event with two teams featuring in the women's section. Apart from India, the tournament has also been witnessing the presence of pugilists from other top boxing nations such as Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.
World Championship medallists Simranjit, Sonia Lather and Jamuna Boro are leading the Indian challenge in the women's section alongside 2021 Youth World champions Gitika and Alfiya Pathan. While in the men's category, the reigning national champion Lakshya Chahar and Youth World champion Sachin are among the Indians.
Later on Day 1, another Indian boxer Kirti, representing the second Indian women's team, will fight against Japan's Rinka Tanaka in the 60kg. The finals will be played on July 4. (ANI)