It was double delight for Indian boxer Vikas Krishan at the Strandja Memorial Tournament as he didn’t just claim a gold medal but was also adjudged the best boxer of the event in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia – a first for an Indian.
The country ended with a whopping 11 medals, five from men and six from women boxers. In all, the contingent clinched two gold, three silver and six bronze medals. The 26-year-old defeated world championships bronze-medallist Troy Isley of the USA in the middle-weight (75kg) finals to claim his first medal since the Asian Championships bronze last year in April-May. Along with Vikas, Amit Panghal (49kg) claimed a gold medal, rounding off India’s best ever performance at the tournament.
It was a massive turnaround for Vikas, who had not just been laid low by a hand injury but had also found himself in the disciplinary line of fire after giving a walkover in his Asian Championships semifinal last year. The former Asian Games gold medal winner, who is also a world championships bronze-medallist, said he also cleared some mental cobwebs to get back in form.
Finishing with silver medals were M C Mary Kom (48kg), who got a raw deal in the final, Seema Poonia (+81kg) and Gaurav Solanki (52kg). The bronze medal winners among the women were Meena Kumari Devi (54kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Saweety Boora (75kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg). Among the men, last edition’s silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) ended in third position.