(MENAFN- IANS) Hangzhou, Sep 24 (IANS) India's two-time World Champion Nikhat Zareen started her campaign in her maiden Asian Games with a resounding 5-0 points victory over Thi Tan Nguyen of Vietnam in a Round of 32 bout in the women's 50kg weight class in Hangzhou on Sunday.
Nikhat, who won the World Championship in 2021 and 2023 and the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham in 2022, was expected to face a tough fight from the Vietnamese boxer as Nikhat had defeated the same boxer in the World Championships final in March this year.
However, the Indian boxer came out with aggressive intent and dominated the proceedings, against Nguyen Thi Tam, who is also a two-time Asian champion, winning the match on the cards of all five judges.
Nikhat landed a combo of punches in the first round that had the referee giving her opponent a standing eight count. Within seconds of the restart, Nikhat landed another flurry of punches and that forced the referee to give her another standing eight count.
The Vietnamese boxer was passive in her approach and even received a warning and a point deduction in the first round. Nguyen tried to fight back in the second round but Nikhat defended well and was judged to have won this round too.
After losing two rounds, the only chance for the Vietnamese boxer was to try and knock out her Indian opponent and she tried that with some wild punches. However, Nikhat managed to avoid her with quick movement and eventually received the full 30 points from all five judges as the 25-year-old from Nizamabad in Telangana stormed into the Pre-quarterfinals.
Nikhat will next face South Korea's Chorong Bak on September 27 for a place in the quarterfinals. The Korean is the second seed in the draw and had received a bye in the first round.
Earlier in the women's 54 kg weight category, India's Preeti defeated Silina Alhasanat of Jordan when the referee stopped the contest 0.23 seconds into the third round. By that time, Preeti had totally dominated the match and won the approval of all five judges.
Preeti will next fight against top seed Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan, a three-time World championship medallist. That bout will be held on September 30.
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