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Preeti Dahiya Leads India In Record Medal Haul At Asian Youth Championships

Preeti Dahiya (60kg), Sneha Kumari (66kg), Khushi (75kg) and Neha (54kg) clinched gold medals in the women's draw

India's youth boxer Preeti Dahiya (in red) punches her opponent during the final at the 2021 ASBC Youth Asian Championships in Dubai. Courtesy: BFI

Indian boxers dominated the Asian Youth Championships, notching up six gold medals along with nine silver and five bronze in the event where the women's competition was significantly depleted due to pullouts caused by COVID-19 related travel restrictions.  (More Sports News)

Preeti Dahiya (60kg), Sneha Kumari (66kg), Khushi (75kg) and Neha (54kg) clinched gold medals in the women's draw, which shrunk after several teams fielded smaller squads because of the travel restrictions.

Of the 10 women finalists, six directly made the finals because of small size of their respective draws.

Dahiya defeated Kazakhstan's Zuldyz Shayakmetova 3-2, while Sneha  pummelled's UAE Rahmah Khalfan Almurshidi to force a stoppage. Khushi defeated Kazakhstan's Dana Diday 3-0 in bouts held late last night.

World youth bronze-medallist Bishwamitra Chongtham (51kg) and Vishal (80kg) were the gold-winners in the men's competition.

The silver-winners among women were Preeti (57kg), Khushi (63kg), Tanisha Sandhu (81kg), Nivedita (48kg), Tamanna (50kg) and Simran (52kg).

Vishvanath Suresh (48kg), Vanshaj (63.5kg) and Jaydeep Rawat (71kg) ended with silver medals in the men's competition.

Five Indian boxers, including one woman, had earlier claimed bronze medals in the youth event after losing in the semi-finals.

Among men, Daksh (67kg), Deepak (75kg), Abhimanyu (92kg) and Aman Singh Bisht (92+kg) bagged bronze medals while Lashu Yadav (70kg) ended with a bronze in the women’s category.

In the last edition of Asian Youth Championships, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, India had claimed 12 medals, including five gold.

The gold medallists in the youth category were awarded with USD 6,000 while USD 3,000 and USD 1,500 were given to the silver and bronze medal winners respectively.

India had earlier won eight gold, five silver and six bronze medals in the junior competition which was held simultaneously for the first time.

In all, India fetched 39 medals from the combined event, 14 of them gold.

"As a federation, we are committed to identify and promote more and more youngsters from across the country, ensuring best coaching and guidance to groom them into future champions at the elite level," said Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh.

"I am sure the valuable experience gained in such a big tournament will help these boxers to carve a strong path for themselves," he added.

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