Asian Games 2023: Unlucky Nikhat Zareen gets tough opening draw as race to Paris Olympics intensifies, others get bye
Asian Games 2023: Nikhat Zareen has been handed a tough first round draw, which could hurt her Paris Olympics qualification hopes.
World champion Nikhat Zareen has been haded a tough start to her Asian Games 2023 boxing campaign after being handed a tough draw in Hangzhou, China. She will open her campaign against Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Tam, whom she defeated in the World Championships final in New Delhi, in March. Thi Tam is a two-time Asian champion. If Zareen defeats Tam, she will be up against Republic of Korea's Chorong Bak in the second round.
Meanwhile, Olympic medallist and world champion Lovlina Borgohain has been given a bye in the prelimnaries and will face Korea's Seong Suyeon in the women's 70kg category quarter-finals, on September 30.
Zareen's tough draw could really hurt her qualification hopes for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. Boxing at the 19th edition of Asian Games has the potential to seal the highest number of Olympic quota places. Following IOC's new guidelines, the Asian Games will directly quality up to 34 Asian boxers for the Olympics based on their performances in Hangzhou.
In men's boxing, two quotas per category is available, which gifts Olympic berths to the gold and silver medalists. Meanwhile, in the women's quota, four quatas will be there for each weight category, except for 66kg and 75kg.
Young Indian boxer Preeti will begin her campaign against Jordan's Alahasanat Silina in the first round of the 54kg category. Parveen Hooda will face China's Xu Ziehun in the 57kg category first round. In the 66kg category, Arundhati Chaudhary has a tough draw and will open against China's Yang Liu in the first round.
In men's boxing, Shva Thapa has been given a first-round bye. World Championship bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria has a tough draw and will face Japan's Tomoya Tsuboi in the first round and Sachin Siwach will take on Indonesia's Udin Asr in the 57kg first round. Meanwhile, Nishant Dev and Sanjeet also have a tough draw in 71kg and 92kg respectively.