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Strandja Memorial Boxing: Amit, Sachin strike gold; Nikhat signs off with silver

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Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 11 (PTI) World Championship medallist Amit Panghal and Sachin Siwach won a gold each, while Nikhat Zareen and three other Indians signed off with silver medals at the 75th Strandja Memorial tournament here on Sunday.

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The 2019 worlds silver medallist Panghal (51kg) pulled off a dominating 5-0 triumph over Kazakhstan's Sanzhar Tashkenbay in the men's flyweight final.

Sachin (57kg), a world youth champion, changed the colour of his medal from the last edition from bronze to gold as he out-punched Uzbekistan's Shakhzod Muzafarov by a 5-0 verdict.

However, two-time world champion Zareen (50kg), Arundhati Choudhary (66kg), Barun Singh Shagolshem (48kg) and Rajat (67kg) settled for silver medals after going down in their respective bouts.

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In a commanding performance, Panghal landed powerful punches and Tashkenbay simply had no answers.

Panghal had clinched the bronze medal in 2017 while winning back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.

However despite his dominant run here, the Armyman from Haryana, who has lost his spot in the Indian team to 2023 worlds bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria, will not be competing at the Paris Olympic qualifiers later this month.

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Zareen went down to 20-year-old Sabina Bobokulova of Uzbekistan, who beat Asian Games champion Wu Yu in the light flyweight semifinals.

The first six minutes of the bout were intense with both boxers going at each other. However, Zareen wasn't to tight with her defence and Bobokulova was able to land decisive punches on counter attack.

Trailing after the first two rounds, Zareen came out all guns blazing in the final three minutes. She was able to land clean and precise punches and won the third round. But Bobokulova had done enough and the judges ruled in her favour.

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National champion Arundhati went down 1-4 to reigning world champion Liu Yang of China in the 66kg final, while Barun lost to Khodzhiev Anvarzhan of Kyrgyzstan.

Rajat, who received a walkover in the semifinal, went down to Bekhbauov Dulat of Kazakhstan by a narrow 2-3 margin.

The Strandja Memorial is one of Europe's oldest boxing competitions and features high quality boxers from across the world. PTI APA SSC SSC

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