For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Ekaterinburg: India were assured of an unprecedented two medals at the World Men’s Boxing Championships after Amit Panghal (52kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) entered the semifinals of the marquee event with impressive victories in Ekaterinburg on Wednesday. While Asian Games and championship gold-medallist Panghal defeated Filipino Carlo Paalam 4-1, Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Kaushik got the better of Brazil’s Wanderson de Oliveira 5-0. Both the boxers sealed their maiden world medals. However, Sanjeet (91kg), a former India Open gold-medallist, lost 1-4 to Ecuador’s seventh-seeded Julio Castillo Torres in his semifinal bout. Torres is a Pan-American Games silver-medallist. Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal in a single edition of the world championship. The overall medal count for the country stood at four bronze medals claimed by Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017). The second-seeded Panghal, who had earlier defeated Paalam in the Asian Games semifinals last year, wasn’t off to the best of starts and was trailing Paalam at the end of the opening round. But the Armyman from Rohtak didn’t take long to get his act together and become the more aggressive one in the next two rounds.”I started slow but I think I dominated the second and third round. I was told by my coaches to be aggressive and I tried to be that. I had fought against him earlier so that gave me a fair idea of his gameplan as well,” Panghal said after the bout. Also Read | Amit Panghal, Indian Army soldier and boxer, dedicates gold medal to CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama In the last-four stage, the Haryana-pugilist will be up against Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov, who stunned Armenia’s European gold-medallist and sixth seed Artur Hovhannisyan in his quarterfinal showdown. “He is a southpaw and has a long reach, I will work out a strategy for him,” the 23-year-old Panghal said. Also Read | Asian Games 2018: Boxer Amit Panghal, Bridge duo win Golds in AsiadThe Indian finished a quarterfinalist in the last edition of the world championship after losing a fiercely-contested bout to the then defending champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the 49kg category. Kaushik, a former national champion making his debut at the world event, was the next to take the ring and produced a composed performance against a flamboyant rival, who paid for a very poor defence. Kaushik was sharp with his counter-attacks and not for once seemed fazed by his opponent’s attempts at trying to draw him in with a low guard. Next up for Kaushik is Cuban top seed Andy Gomez Cruz, who out-punched Russia’s eighth-seeded Ilia Popov. Cruz was the light welterweight (64kg) category gold-medallist in the 2017 edition and is also a two-time Pan American Games gold-winner. Sanjeet, also making his debut at the event, did come up a spirited show against Torres but the Ecuadorian put more power in his punches and displayed sharp reflexes in avoiding the Indian’s counter-hits to prevail in a thoroughly entertaining contest.
On Friday morning in Ann Arbor, Mich. the Wisconsin women’s tennis team will set out to accomplish two things: make a run at this weekend’s Big Ten Conference Tournament and win enough matches to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.Carrying with them a three-match winning streak, it appears the Badgers (14-10, 5-5) have saved their best tennis for last, peaking at the right time heading into all-important tournament play.“I think we’re playing extremely good tennis,” head coach Brian Fleishman said. “We’re playing the best tennis we’ve played all season now and that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.”The Badgers grabbed the fifth seed and a first round bye in the tournament with their wins against Iowa and Illinois this past weekend.If Wisconsin is to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, the team must beat fourth-seeded Ohio State in the first round in the quarterfinals on Friday and then subsequently beat the 1-seed, Michigan, in the semifinals on Saturday.However, beating either team is easier said than done. In Wisconsin’s regular season matches against both groups, they lost 2-5 and 0-7 respectively.Against Ohio State, Wisconsin took the early doubles point, leading 1-0 as they switched over to singles. According to Fleishman, the energy his team used to propel them to the early lead quickly evaporated.“If we can just play every point for itself and just stay on them from the beginning to the end we can beat them,” junior and No. 2 singles Aleksandra Markovic said. “They’re pretty tough but we can beat them.”Though the positive attitude is there for the Badgers, there’s a good chance one big part of the team’s success throughout the regular season won’t be: freshman standout and No. 1 singles Jenny Hois.Recently, Hois was sidelined with nagging tendonitis, an injury that kept her out of both matches against Iowa and Illinois this past weekend.Hois was also the only singles player to win her match against Ohio State two weeks ago when the two teams last met.Fleishman, however, is confident the team can step up in her absence. The coach draws back to last weekend when instead of Hois it was Alaina Trgovich who anchored the singles lineup and rose to the challenge for the Badgers.“She loves that heavy ball,” Fleishman said. “Anyone who plays No. 1 is going to hit that hard shot. She likes that pace and the points aren’t as long at the top, which goes right into Alaina’s game.”Trgovich, thrust into the arms of the spotlight at No. 1, remains confident the team can prevail over the Buckeyes, as well.“It wasn’t our best singles two weeks ago,” Trgovich said. “I think we know we can do better than that and what to expect. I’m really confident. I think we all can do it.”The other positive the team can take against Ohio State is the match will take place at a neutral site this time around. The Badgers’ first match with the Buckeyes took place in Columbus, which in Fleishman’s opinion proved huge for them.“[The Ohio State fans] were on us from the beginning of the match to the end of the match,” Fleishman said. “I think being on neutral ground, anything can happen.”If Wisconsin can take out Ohio State, they will likely face Michigan who takes on the winner of eighth-seeded Minnesota and ninth-seeded Iowa on Saturday.Michigan would be the heavy favorite in the match, but Wisconsin knows that once they take the court, anything can happen.“I’ll be honest, Michigan is pretty tough,” Markovic said. “If we lay it on the line I think we can [beat them] because last year we played them in the Big Ten Tournament and all of the matches were really close. We almost won the doubles point and almost won three singles matches, it was really close.”For Markovic and her teammates, it’s going to take more than almost to beat Michigan and to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.They know it’s going to take a complete team effort.