Four Indian boxers will compete on the opening day of the IBA Women's World Championships, which will be led by star boxer Nikhat Zareen on Thursday.
The country's boxers received a mixed draw, but the current champion Nikhat will have an easier start when she takes on Anakhanim Ismayilova of Azerbaijan in the Round of 64 at 50 kg. But with prospective rivals like Colombia's Ingrit Valencia, who won bronze at the Rio Olympics, and Japan's Tsukimi Namiki, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, waiting for her in the semifinal and championship match, respectively, defending her title may prove difficult.
Lovlina Borgohain (75 kg), who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, had a bye in the first round. Saweety Boora (81 kg), who also received a bye in the first round, will be one victory away from winning the medal.
In the Round of 16, Lovlina will compete against Vanessa Ortiz of Mexico. Yet, a tantalising semifinal matchup between two Olympic medalists will be on the schedule because the Indian is paired with Chinese athlete Li Qian, who won silver at the Tokyo Games.
In the 60 kg quarterfinals, Jaismine Lamboria will likely square off against France's Estelle Mossely, the Rio Olympics champion, while Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira, the silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics, is positioned in the other half.
Preeti (54 kg), who opens her campaign against Hanna Lakotar of Hungary, has also been given a difficult path as she is set to face Jutamas Jitpong of Indonesia and Lacramioara Perijoc of Romania, the silver medalists from the last edition, in the second and third rounds, respectively. In the final of the last competition, Thai fighter Jitpong had fallen to Nikhat.
Anurag Singh Thakur, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kremlev, and Ajay Singh were all present for the ceremonial beginning of the famous event on Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.
Sanamacha is replaced by Shruti
Following a preliminary medical evaluation by the team doctor, Sanamacha Chanu has decided to withdraw from the competition after suffering a concussion during her training. This choice was made with the athlete's long-term health and future prospects in mind.
Chanu has been replaced by reserve fighter Shruti Yadav, who will represent the nation in the 70 kg division.