SHILLONG, Feb 14: London Olympics bronze-medallist MC Mary Kom led the charge as six Indian boxers stormed into the final with comprehensive wins in the first session of semifinals in the 12th South Asian Games here today.
Indian boxer Shiva Thapa (red) in action during his 56 kg category semifinal match of the 12th South Asian Games against Shrestha Dinesh (blue) of Nepal at the NEHU SAI Stadium in Shillong on Sunday. – UB Photos
On a comeback process after recovering from an injury, the five-time world champion Mary Kom’s 51kg category bout lasted less than 40 seconds as she was adjudged winner via Technical Knockout.
After Mary landed some powerful blows to her Bangladeshi opponent Shamina Akter who rarely stepped forward and had a full crouch stance all the while trying to cover-up at the SAI campus in North Eastern Hill University on the outskirts of the city. Sri Lanka’s first woman boxer to win a gold in Asian Championship, Anusha Kodituwakku Dilrukshi, will stand in the way of the celebrated Indian boxer for the 51kg gold medal in women’s final on Tuesday.
Anusha had little trouble getting past her Nepalese opponent Gurung Minu as she was adjudged 3-0 winner by the three judges.
In the men’s competition, Glasgow Commonwealth silver- medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg) started the proceedings for India when he did well to dodge Thiwana Ranasinghe’s open hooks to win a tight first round 29-28.
Devendro did well to win the next two rounds with ease to be adjudged 3-0 winner in the 49kg. World championship bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) had the height disadvantage against Mohammad Ohiduzzaman of Bangladesh but the Assamese boxer did well to defend himself before landing some powerful jabs with a tactical gameplan. “I ensured that he did not take advantage of his height and the gameplan worked well for me,” he said after his 3-0 win.
He will take on W Ruwan Thilina of Sri Lanka in the gold medal fight tomorrow. 2011 World Championship Vikas Krishan outclassed his Afghanistan opponent Folad S Wali Shah with a 3-0 win in 75kg.
2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and 2012 London Olympics quarterfinalist Manoj Kumar (64kg) prevailed over Tshering Wangchuk of Bhutan with an identical scoreline to make the final.
FINAL LINEUP – MEN: 49kg: Mohib Ulla (Pak) vs L Devendro Singh, 56kg: W Ruwan Thilina (SL) vs Shiva Thapa, 64kg: Manoj Kumar vs Dinidu Saparamadu (SL), 75kg: Vikas Krishan vs Tanveer Ahmed (Pak).
WOMEN: 51kg: M C Mary Kom vs K Anusha Dilrukshi (SL), 75kg: Andaraweer Nilanthi (SL) vs Pooja Rani. – PTI