Olympic debutante Jutamas seeks revenge as 3 Thai boxers win opening bouts

Olympic debutante Jutamas seeks revenge as 3 Thai boxers win opening bouts

SEA Games gold medalist Jutamas Jitpong emerged as the third Thai boxer to clear the first hurdle at the Olympic Games TOKYO 2020, scoring a crushing 5-0 victory over Boualam Roumaysa of Algeria in the women’s 51kg at the Kokugikan Arena on Sunday.

Competing in her debut Games, the 23-year-old fighter emulated her teammates Baison Manikon and Chatchai-Decha Butdee who had already qualified for the next rounds in the women’s 69kg and men’s 57kg respectively.

“I was a bit sluggish at the start. But after the first round, I began to get used to her style and raised my level from then on,” said Jutamas, who reserved an Olympic berth at the last minute following the withdrawal of a North Korean boxer.

Jutamas, who hails from Nakhon Si Thammarat, is thrilled but nervous to be making her first appearance in the quadrennial sports extravaganza.

“I thought I would be able to handle it well but it was not easy. My first bout took a toll but I’m happy to get through it,” said the bronze medalist from the 2019 Grand Prix Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.

Waiting for her in the second round on Thursday is old rival Irish Magno of the Philippines. Jutamas will be out for revenge after losing to the two-time SEA Games silver medalist Mago 1-4 in the 2019 SEA Games.

“Getting into the second round in my first Olympics is a good boost. I will try to do my best from now on,” she added.

The Kingdom’s boxing team has four pugilists including Sudaporn Seesondee in the women’s 60kg at this Olympiad. The 2018 world Championships silver medalist will begin her quest for a medal in the first bout against Maria Jose Palacios Espinoza of Ecuador on Tuesday.

Basion will enter her second bout on Tuesday against 2016 and 2018 World Championships silver medalist Gu Hong of China.

Chatchai-Decha, in his third and farewell Olympics, will fight Mirco Jehiel Cuello of Argentina in the round of 16.

Thailand originally hoped to send five boxers to the Olympic Games TOKYO 2020 but medal hope Thitisan Panmod in the men’s 52 category had to withdraw at the last minute due to a knee injury.

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