Nikhat Zareen secures Olympic quota

Two-time world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen secured a Paris Olympics berth and assured herself of a medal as she cantered to the 50kg semifinals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Friday. Fighting in her third bout of the tournament, Nikhat needed less than three minutes to notch a facile RSC (referee stops contest) win over Nassar Hanan of Jordan in the quarterfinal. The reigning Commonwealth Games champion set the tone of the bout early on with a sharp jab. Nikhat continued to dominate with a flurry of accurate combination punches. Such was her domination that the referee was forced to give the Jordanian pugilist three standing counts before calling off the contest. World Championship bronze medallist Parveen managed to outplay local favourite Zichun Xu 5-0 to move to the quarters. Lakshya Chahar, on the other hand, made a first round exit after he went down 1-4 to Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu in the 80kg Round of 16 bout. In the women’s events, the semifinalists in the 50kg, 54kg, 57kg, and 60kg while the finalists in the 66kg and 75kg will qualify for the Paris Olympics. The gold and silver medallists in each of the seven weight divisions in the men’s event will receive Olympic quotas. Meanwhile in squash, Indian men beat Malaysia 2-0 in team semi-finals, will play Pakistan on Saturday in gold medal match. In badminton, Indian men’s team assured of a medal for first time since 1986. In shooting, Palak wins gold and Esha Singh clinches the silver in the women’s individual 10m air pistol event. Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar wins men’s individual 50m 3-Position rifle silver.