Mary Kom, Amit Panghal qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Second-seeded Mary Kom notched up a comfortable 5-0 win over Philippines' Irish Magno in her quarterfinal bout for a ticket to her second Olympic Games and top seed Amit Panghal edged out familiar foe Carlo Paalam of Philippines in a 4-1 split verdict to be assured of his maiden Olympic appearance.

Mary Kom, Amit Panghal qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Amman: Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) and world number one Amit Panghal (52kg) qualified for the Olympic Games here on Monday (March 9, 2020).

Second-seeded Mary Kom notched up a comfortable 5-0 win over Philippines' Irish Magno in her quarterfinal bout for a ticket to her second Olympic Games.
 
She won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics when women's boxing was first introduced at the showpiece.

The 37-year-old will square off against China's Yuan Chang in the semifinals. Chang is a former Youth Olympics champion.

Earlier, world silver-medallist and top seed Panghal edged out familiar foe Carlo Paalam of Philippines in a 4-1 split verdict to be assured of his maiden Olympic appearance and a medal at the qualifiers.

"I dedicate my Olympic quota to my uncle Raj Narayan, it's his birthday and he is someone who gives me a lot of courage," said Panghal after his bout.

Panghal started India's winning run on Monday by managing to pull off a close win.

The 23-year-old, who is the reigning Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist, had earlier beaten Paalam in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games and the quarterfinals of the 2019 world championships, which were also split decisions.

"I followed the instructions given by my coaches. I ensured that he didn't get on top of me. I think I was pretty consistent in all three rounds," Panghal said.

Next up for Panghal is China's Jianguan Hu, who stunned world bronze-medallist and fourth seed Kazakh Saken Bibossinov 5-0.

"I have beaten him in the Asian Championships and I know how to get the better of him," Panghal said of his next opponent.

The Haryana lad didn't exactly look at his best during the bout but his trademark counter-attacking game fetched him the desired result against a rival, who is challenging him more with every fresh encounter.

Mary Kom, on the other hand, put out a near-perfect performance against the very aggressive Magno. The Manipuri dictated the pace of the bout, drawing from her huge reservoir of experience to put Magon on the backfoot with a very effective counter-attacking strategy.

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