Manoj, Vikas earn Olympic berths

Baku, June 23: Indian boxers Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan Yadav (75kg) registered comfortable victories in the quarter-fils of their respective weight categories to qualify for the upcoming Rio Olympics at the World Olympic Qualifiers here on Thursday.

The duo thus joined Shiva Thapa (56kg) in the Indian boxing contingent for the Rio Olympics. Thapa had booked his Olympic berth at the Asia and Oceania qualifiers earlier this year.

Manoj thrashed Rakhimov Shavkatdzhon of Tajikistan 3-0. He will face Pat McCormack of Britain in the semi-fils on Friday. McCormack, the reigning European champion, defeated Amzile Hassan of France in the last eight stage.

Later in the day, Vikas became the third Indian boxer to secure an Olympic quota by winning his middleweight (75kg) quarter-fil bout against South Korea’s Lee Dongyun.

The Indian pugilist was in terrific form, taking the attack to this South Korean opponent right from the opening bell. The domince of the 24-year-old was constant over the three rounds, comfortably winning all three to enter the semi-fils in style.

In the earlier rounds, the second seeded Vikas had opened his campaign with a gruelling victory against Japan’s Takahashi Makoto in the second round. A straightforward victory over Georgia’s Zaal Kvachatadze allowed the southpaw to enter the quarter-fils. IANS