Ekaterinburg (Russia), Sep 21 : Amit Panghal on Saturday became the first Indian male boxer to win a silver at the World Championships. Facing Uzbek Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov in the flyweight final, Panghal lost by a unanimous decision to miss out on gold but he had already created history by becoming the first Indian to reach the title clash at the Worlds.
“I had hoped for a gold but there are a few things that I need to improve upon,” said Panghal in a video that he tweeted after being conferred the silver medal. He was however confident that his win is a good sign for the sport in the country.
“Indian boxing has improved a lot,” he said. “I’m sure boxers will break records and win medals in the future. Just like how we created history here, we will be now doing the same at the Olympics.”
With Panghal winning silver and Manish Kaushik winning bronze on Friday in the lightweight division, this has been India’s best performance at the men’s boxing World Championships thus far. Indian boxers had won four bronze medals at the Worlds before this with one edition producing a maximum of one medallist.
Both pugilists are now guaranteed to take part in the Olympic qualifiers next year with the Boxing Federation of India stating before the start of the Worlds that medallists will automatically receive spots in the contingent.