QATAR’S hopes of sealing a berth at the AIBA World Championships ended in vain when Thulasi Tharumalingam and Hakan Murst Nuraydin lost in the preliminaries of the Asian Confederation Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, last week.
A total of 179 boxers from 28 countries fought it out at the eight-day event.
Top six from light flyweight (49kg), flyweight (52kg), bantamweight (56kg), lightweight (60kg), light welterweight (64kg), welterweight (69kg), middleweight (75kg), light heavyweight (81kg), heavyweight (91kg) and super heavyweight (above 91kg) finals in Baku qualified for the Worlds to be held in Hamburg, Germany, from August 25 to September 3.
Thulasi, who represented Qatar at last year’s Rio Games, won his first-round bout against Malaysian Theena Raja Selvan in the 69kg welterweight category, but lost to Syria’s Ahmad Ghosson in the second.
Earlier, Nuraydin lost to Turkmenistan’s Nuryagdy Nuryadyyev in the light heavyweight’s first round.
“I did my best, but it was tough against Ahmad,” said Thulasi, who lost in the round of 32 at Rio.
“I was back in intense training after a busy and successful 2016. I had set a goal to qualify for the World Championships this year. I’m happy I won the opening round. I think I need to improve my techniques,” added Thulasi, who won bronze at an invitational event in Bangkok, Thailand, last month.
“I competed against boxers from Uzbekistan, Australia and Thailand at the preparatory event in Bangkok. It helped me a lot before the Asian Championships, but I guess I need to work harder,” he said.
Qatari boxers will now hope to bag a couple of wild cards wherethe AIBA Seeding Commission allocates 10 in as many categories.
But before that, they will be aiming for some medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku from May 12 to 22.
“I’ll try my best to do well,” said Thulasi.