New Delhi: Record six-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain and two-time World Champion Nikhat Zareen will spearhead the Indian squad for the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8, 2023.
With a World Championships bronze medal and six Asian Championships medals under his belt, Shiva Thapa will be looking to add a first Asian Games medal to his kitty as he represents the country in the 63.5 kg category.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will battle it out in the 75kg category, determined to add a coveted Asian Games medal to her decorated CV that has three World Championships and Asian medals each.
Nikhat Zareen, who recently made history by becoming only the second female pugilist from the country to win two World Championships gold medals, will seek to continue her dominance on the international stage. The Telangana-born pugilist also clinched gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and will box in the 50kg category.
“This formidable squad has worked tirelessly to prepare for this prestigious event and I have no doubt that they will make our country proud. India has been making waves in the boxing landscape and has established its place amongst the elite. Having witnessed exceptional performances by our boxers at the recent World Championships, we are confident that we will be seeing more of the same in Hangzhou. Everyone at BFI wishes each and every member of the team all the best,” said Ajay Singh, President of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).
Deepak Bhoria, who is continuing his rise to the top by being one of the most consistent Indian pugilists recently, will be competing in the 51kg Flyweight category. The 25-year-old recently won a historic bronze at the Men’s World Championships in Tashkent where he toppled the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist and 2021 World Champion Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan.
Another World Championships bronze medallist, Nishant Dev who is one of India’s finest young talents will be aiming to make his mark at the tournament as he shoulders the country’s weight in the 71kg category.
The Indian team will also comprise 2021 Asian Champion Sanjeet Kumar (92kg) and 2022 Asian Championship bronze medallist Narender Berwal (+92) in the heavyweight and superheavyweight categories respectively.
Young pugilists Sachin (57kg) who is the 2021 World Youth Champion and Lakshya Chahar (80kg) who is a three-time national champion will be the other pugilists donning the Indian jersey at the prestigious tournament.
Parveen Hooda, who had a stellar 2022 where she won the World Championships bronze and also became the Asian Champion, will be carrying the mantle of the country in the 57kg category as she strives to make her 2023 even more memorable.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria will be participating in the 60kg category while the 2021 World Youth champion Arundhati Choudhary will be squaring off in the 66kg category.
The squad will also have the proficient young pugilist Preeti, who has the 2022 Asian Championships bronze medal to her name and will be eager to make her mark in Hangzhou.
Boxers will be looking to give their best as the competition will serve as the qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Full Indian Squad for Asian Games
Men: Deepak (51 Kg), Sachin (57 Kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5 Kg), Nishant Dev (71 Kg), Lakshya Chahar (80 Kg), Sanjeet (92 Kg) and Narender (+92 Kg)
Women: Nikhat Zareen (50 Kg), Preeti (54 Kg), Parveen (57 Kg), Jaismine (60 Kg), Arundhati Choudhary (66 Kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75 Kg)