ULAN-UDE (RUSSIA), Oct 10: Six-time champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) on Thursday surpassed herself as the most successful boxer in the Women’s World Championship history by securing an unprecedented eighth medal before three of her compatriots also entered the semifinals here.
Jamuna Boro, Lovlina Borgohain
The debutant duo of sixth seed Manju Rani (48kg) and Jamuna Boro (54kg) along with last edition’s bronze-medallist and third seed Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) made the medal rounds along side Mary Kom to ensure that India equalled their last edition’s performance in terms of number of medals won.
The third-seeded Mary Kom defeated a spirited rival in Colombia’s Valencia Victoria, fetching a unanimous 5-0 verdict to make the last-four stage.
Rani stunned top seed and last edition’s bronze-medallist Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea 4-1, while Jamuna, an Assam Rifles employee, got the better of Germany’s Ursula Gottlob by a similar margin after draining showdowns.
Lovlina, on the other hand, pulled off a facile 4-1 triumph over Poland’s sixth-seeded Karolina Koszewska.
“I am very happy to have secured a medal but I would be looking to make it better by reaching the finals,” the 36-year-old Mary Kom said after the bout.
“It was a good bout for me and I will now try to improve on this performance in the semifinals,” she added.
Awaiting Mary Kom in the semifinals on Saturday, after a rest day on Friday, is second-seeded Turk Busenaz Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist. Cakiroglu defeated China’s Cai Zongju in her quarterfinal bout.
For Rani, her next opponent is going to be Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat, who upstaged fifth seed Yuliyanova Asenova. Jamuna will take on top seed and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei.
Lovlina’s opponent in the semifinals would be China’s Yang Liu, who shocked top seed Chen Nien-Chin in her quarterfinal clash.
However, two-time bronze-medallist Kavita Chahal (+81kg) bowed out after a 0-5 loss to Belarus’ Katsiaryna Kavaleva.
In a tactful performance, Mary Kom waited for her chances and defended sharply to ensure that Victoria’s plan to impress the judges by throwing in more punches didn’t yield results.
The Indian’s huge reservoir of experience came in handy as she swung her right arm masterfully to connect well-placed hooks. Her straight punches were as effective and regularly pierced through Victoria’s reasonably strong defence.
With this, Mary Kom bettered her own record as the most successful boxer in the history of the marquee tournament. The Manipuri, in terms of number of medals won, is in fact numero uno cutting across both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Cuban icon Felix Savon is the most successful in the men’s event with seven medals – six gold and a silver.
Entering into this edition, Mary Kom had six gold and a silver in her kitty but this is the first time, she has secured a world medal in the 51kg category. She had finished as a quarterfinalist in this division in the past. The latest achievement has only added to her ever-growing legend.
Besides six world titles, Mary Kom’s incredible career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal (2012), five Asian titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.
This year alone, she won gold medals at the India Open in Guwahati and President’s Cup in Indonesia.
She is also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Both Rani and Jamuna fetched hard-fought victories, engaged with strong opponents who hardly gave anything away defensively. But the two Indians were remarkably good in counter-attacks. – PTI