Sri Lanka Women’s boxer Nadeeka Pushpakumari produced a splendid performance to win the Bronze Medal at the Asian Boxing Championship in Dubai, UAE on Saturday.
Pushpakumari representing Vidyarathna SC lost to two-time World champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan and eventually earned the Bronze Medal in the 51kg flyweight category.
Nazym had to play with four-time world champion Indian Mary Kim in the final. Nearly 300 boxers from 27 countries participated in this championship.
Sri Lankan fielded seven boxers including four Men and three Women’s for this championship.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Boxing Federation President Dian Gomes said that this Asian Championship was very tough with Sri Lankan pugilists having to face some of the world’s top boxers and most of them had already entered the Tokyo Olympics Games.
“I think, winning a Bronze Medal was very important and this is after the 2013 Asian Championships held in Mongolia that a Sri Lankan boxer had won a medal in an Asian Championship,” Gomes told the Daily News yesterday.
“It was for the first time that this team went on this tour with the support of the Sports Ministry during this hard time,” he emphasised.
“We could not take part in any international competition for more than a year and a half because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” “We also could not conduct the national pool training because boxing is a contact sport. But the boxers who had qualified for the Olympic Games took part in this Asian Meet,” added Gomes.
The Sri Lanka Team:
(Men): Sajeewa Nuwan Kumara (Army BC – light flyweight 49kg), K. V. L. Eranda (Vidyarathna SC – flyweight 52kg) P. A. R. Prasanna (Army BC – bantamweight 56kg) and N. B. A. J. Vimukthi Kumara (Army BC – lightweight 60kg).
(Women): Rashmika Heshani Illangaratne (Police SC – light flyweight 48kg), Nadeeka Pushpakumari (Vidyarathna SC – flyweight 51kg) and K. A. K. Hansika (Vidyarathna SC – featherweight 57kg).