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El Simreen defeat as Olympic boxing qualifiers opening day thrill

By JT - Mar 04,2020 - Last updated at Mar 04,2020

AMMAN — A thrilling opening day at the Asian/Oceanian Road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Boxing qualifiers has drawn to a close, but the host nation’s first star in action was unable to proceed, according to the Jordan Olympic Committee News Service.  Jordan’s Hisham El Simreen went toe-to-toe with the impressive Fanat Kakhramonov in an absorbing 75kg contest that went the way of the man from Uzbekistan.

Kakhramonov will now meet third seed Jancen Poutoa, of Samoa, while Simreen will need to try his luck at the world qualifying event in June for his last shot at Olympic qualification. “I am disappointed but came up against a very good fighter, but I have to fight the best if I am to become the best,” said Simreen. “It is my dream to box at the Olympic Games and I will never give up trying.

I will need to train hard now and aim for Paris.” The event has attracted 221 of the best fighters from 35 countries with 63 Olympic spots up for grabs, and it was a stunning opening session of 11 preliminary bouts.

One of the performances of the day came from Australian Kirra Ruston who stopped Hong Kong’s Leong Kan in the second round following a couple of standing counts. It was Ruston’s first international bout and he faces a real acid test next in -75kg top seed Eumir Marcial of the Philippines on Thursday.

China’s Jun Shan was another star performer from the session, beating Iraq’s Hayder Karaawi with a second round stoppage. Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon overcame Sri Lanka’s Rumesh Wanni-Arachchige with a unanimous judges’ decision in the -75kg class. There were wins in the women’s -57kg weight for Sri Lanka’s Krismi Lankapurayalage and Uzbekistan’s Yodgoroy Mirzaeva.

It was a good opening session for India with Kumar Ashish (-75kg) and Gaurav Solanki (-57kg) both winning their bouts. The session also saw wins for Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh (-57kg), Nepal’s Sanil Shahi (-63kg), Indonesia’s Maikhel Muskita (-75kg) and Jerome Pampellone (-81kg). The event is being broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel website.


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