The former World silver-medallist Sonia Lather was among the three Indian Women boxers who advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 70th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sonia Lather clinched victory in the 57 kg category.
On the other hand, the men were off to a disappointing start as they lost their respective games. World Championships bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pwilao Basumatari (64kg) also made their respective way to the quarters of the prestigious European event on Thursday.
The crackerjack of an encounter between Sonia Lather, and Serbia's Jelena was dominated by former over latter, finishing with a scoreline 5-0. Sonia Lather, who is also a two-time Asian silver-medallist will be up against American Yarisel Ramirez. This remains to be seen if she manages to continue her form.
On the other hand, Borgohain, a gold-medallist from the Indian Open last year, got the better of Australian Jessica Messina. Basumatari endured a stiffer challenge in Bulgarian Melis Yonuzova before prevailing 3-2. She will have a tougher challenge in the quarters as she plays Croatia's Marija Malencia.
However, there was a disappointment for the country's men with former Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and rookie Harsh Lakra (81kg) bowing out following opening-round losses. Jangra lost 0-5 to Ukraine's Viktor Petrov, while Lakra was beaten by Azerbaijan's Rauf Rahimov.
India's best ever medal haul at the competition stands at 11, which was fetched last year. India will be hoping to emerge victoriously and fetch more medals than before. More than 300 boxers from over 40 nations are competing in the ongoing edition.