HANGZHOU: China’s Wu Yu enjoyed an afternoon stroll to the first boxing gold of the Asian Games today, then set her sights on winning an Olympic title in Paris.
In a pulsating day of action at Hangzhou Gymnasium, world champion Hasanboy Dusmatov stepped up his quest for a first Asian Games gold by reaching the men’s flyweight (51kg) semifinals.
But the Uzbek 2016 Olympic champion told AFP that he was unhappy with a schedule that will force him to fight three days in a row to win gold.
Wu barely broke sweat and her face was completely unmarked after her women’s flyweight (50kg) final against Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat thrilled a large crowd who created a raucous atmosphere.
All five judges scored it 30-27 in favour of the Chinese, who won the world championship in the non-Olympic 52kg weight class in Delhi earlier this year.
“It was as comfortable as it looked,” a smiling Wu told AFP.
“But I am still not satisfied with my performance.”
Mongolia’s Yesugen Oyuntsetseg and Zareen Nikhat of India won the bronzes as beaten semifinalists.
Wu’s gold was the first of 13 in a boxing competition where not only medals are available, but also Olympic qualification for Paris next year.
There are 20 women’s berths available in six weight divisions and 14 places in seven divisions for the men.
“My focus now is on winning gold at Paris 2024,” said Wu.
“I was very proud today on the podium that I could live up to my country’s expectations.”
‘A bit upset’
Amateur boxing great Dusmatov underlined his status as flyweight favourite with an easy quarterfinal win.
The 30-year-old will have less than 24 hours to recover before a semifinal against the slippery Japanese former world champion Tomoya Tsuboi, then faces a potential gold medal bout a day later on Thursday.
“It will be difficult because we have to lose weight for each bout, but generally I feel very good,” he told AFP after cruising past Pakistan’s Zohaib Rasheed on a unanimous points decision.
Asked if he was unhappy with the tight schedule, he said: “Of course, because we can get injuries and it is difficult to be fully healthy for all these fights every day.
“We should have some time to recover and we don’t.
“I am a little bit upset about this.”
A showboating Tsuboi came through an entertaining last eight bout against Nurzhigit Diushebaev with a 5-0 unanimous points decision, having floored the Kazakh with a big right hand.
“I’m sure I will beat the Japanese because I prepare differently for every opponent,” Dusmatov said of the fleet-footed orthodox Tsuboi, who will present a distinctly different challenge to the lanky southpaw Rasheed.
“For the Japanese opponent I have a strategy so it will not be too difficult because I have prepared well.”
Tsuboi won the bantamweight (54kg) world title in 2021.
Dusmatov is yet to win an Asian Games gold after being shocked by India’s Amit Panghal in the 2018 final in Jakarta.