Sarita wins opening bout, enters quarters at Strandja Memorial

The seasoned L Sarita Devi advanced to the quarterfinals on a mixed opening day for India at the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament for men and women here.

Sarita (60kg), a former world and Asian champion who fetched a silver at last month's India Open, defeated Italian Manchese Conceha in a split 3-2 verdict to enter the quarterfinals.

However, Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra (51kg), who won a gold at the India Open, went out with a first-round loss.

Pinki was beaten by Romanian Maria Claudia Nechita in a split 2-3 verdict.

"Pinki fought exceptionally well and to my mind, she should have been the winner," Indian women's boxing's High Performance Director Raffaele Bergamasco told PTI.

India were assured of a medal at the draws today when Seema Punia (+81kg) got a direct entry into the semifinals due to the presence of just three boxers in her weight category.

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