EKATERINBURG (RUSSIA), Sept 20: Asian champion Amit Panghal (52kg) on Friday became the first Indian to enter the finals of the World Men�s Boxing Championship while Manish Kaushik (63kg) signed off with a bronze medal after going down in the semifinals here.
Second seeded Panghal prevailed 3-2 against Kazakhstan�s Saken Bibossinov in the last-four stage.
But Commonwealth Games silver-winner Kaushik, competing in his debut world championship, lost 0-5 to top-seeded Cuban Andy Gomez Cruz, a gold-medallist from the previous edition besides being the reigning Pan-American Games champion.
�The bout went very well for me although I had to put in more effort than I had thought. It is a huge achievement for Indian boxing and I am thankful for all the support that I have got,� Panghal said after the triumph.
On Saturday, Panghal will take on Uzbekistan�s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion. Zoirov defeated Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.
Before this, India had never won more than one bronze medal in a single edition of the world championships but Panghal and Kaushik changed that by making the semifinals.
The past Indian medal-winners at the world meet are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).
His trademark pace and ability to adapt coming in handy, Panghal outmaneuvered the taller Kazakh, who came into the semis after upstaging reigning European gold-medallist Artur Hovhannisyan of Armenia in the quarterfinals. � PTI