Amit Panghal top ranked for upcoming Olympic qualifier
The 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medalist will represent India at the Asian qualifiers in Jordan.
Indian boxer Amit Panghal has been ranked World No. 1 in the 52kg weight category by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Boxing Task Force on Thursday.
As a result, Panghal becomes only the second Indian boxer to reach the top spot since Vijender Singh peaked in 2009 with a world championships bronze.
With the 2020 Olympics just a few months away, the ranking boost comes at a crucial time for the 24-year-old.
“It is a great feeling and obviously means a lot to me because it will help me in being seeded at the qualifiers,” Amit Panghal told the Press Trust of India. “Being world No. 1 also gives you a renewed sense of confidence.”
“I hope to secure an Olympic spot in the first qualifier itself,” he further added.
Amit Panghal’s progress
The rankings were formulated taking into consideration the last two world championships, along with the continental championships and Games in 2019.
And in all those categories, Panghal has enjoyed tremendous success since 2017.
After bagging gold medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2018, he became the first Indian to win a world championship silver medal in 2019.
And on the domestic front, Amit Panghal’s Gujarat Giants were crowned inaugural championships of the Big Bout League, narrowly edging the Punjab Panthers 4-3 in the final.
Tokyo 2020 qualifiers next for Amit Panghal
With the International Boxing Association (AIBA) currently suspended, the IOC will be overseeing the Olympic qualifiers as well as the main event at the 2020 Olympics.
The Asian qualifiers were originally scheduled to be held in Wuhan, China but considering the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the province, they were shifted to Amman, Jordan.
Scheduled to be held on March 3-11, the Asian qualifiers, as well as the final world qualifiers in Paris, stand to further add to the 420 points which lifted Panghal to the top of the rankings and help him ensure a seeding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Where the rest of the Indian boxers rank
In the other men's divisions, Worlds bronze medalist Manish Kaushik (63kg) is highest of the rest, at 12th, ahead of Shiva Thapa down in 36th.
In the 69kg, Ashish is the highest-ranked Indian boxer, at 22nd, while three-time Commonwealth Games podium-finisher Manoj Kumar is 71st.
Meanwhile, two-time Worlds bronze-medalist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) is highest among the women, in third.
Other Indian women boxers include six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, in fifth with 225 points, along with her 51kg rival Nikhat Zareen down in 22nd with 75 points, while Worlds silver-medalist Sonia Chahal (57kg) is tenth.
Where to watch Boxing Olympic Qualifiers
All bouts from the Boxing Olympic qualification events will all be streamed live on www.olympicchannel.com.
The schedule for the live stream is:
Africa: Dakar, Senegal
Commentary in English and French
Asia/Oceania: Amman, Jordan
Commentary in English, Hindi and Russian
Europe: London, Great Britain
Commentary in English and Russian
27 March-3 April
Americas: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Commentary in English and Spanish
World: Paris, France
Commentary in English and French