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Manju enters final; Mary Kom, Lovlina, Jamuna settle for bronze in World C’ships


Six-time champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) in action against Turkey's Busenaz Cakiroglu during the World Women's Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, on Saturday. Mary Kom, seeded third, lost 1-4 to second seed Cakiroglu. – PTI
 ULAN-UDE (RUSSIA), Oct 12: Debutant Manju Rani (48kg) was the lone Indian to enter the final, while six-time champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) and two others signed off with bronze medals in the World Women’s Boxing Championships here on Saturday.

Sixth-seeded Rani defeated Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat 4-1. She will take on second-seeded Russian Ekaterina Paltceva in the summit clash on Sunday.

“I had fought this Thai girl earlier too so that experience came in handy. This is the biggest win of my career so far and I am very very happy,” Rani told PTI referring to her earlier fight against Raksat.

However, Mary Kom, Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze medals. In case of Borgohain, it was her second successive third-place finish.

Mary Kom, seeded third, lost 1-4 to second seed Busenaz Cakiroglu of Turkey who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist.

Boro went down 0-5 to top seed and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei. Borgohain (69kg) squared off against China’s Yang Liu and was beaten 2-3 in a hard-fought bout.

The Indian contingent sought reviews of the decisions in Mary Kom and Borgohain’s bouts but the appeals were turned down by the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) technical committee.

“I am very disappointed with the decision. I think I fought much better and didn’t deserve to lose but I will try to ensure that this setback helps me achieve bigger things,” Mary Kom told PTI.

Rani, who hails from Haryana and made the national camp only this year, put up a gutsy show against the more muscular Raksat. Relying on counter-attacks in the first two rounds, the Strandja Memorial silver-medallist went on the offensive in the final three minutes.

She rattled the Thai with her ferocious combination punches, piercing through her shell guard with forceful straight punches.

Mary Kom also fought a tactically sound bout but was edged out by the Turk in a split verdict.

Both the boxers seemed hesitant to make the first move in the opening round but Mary Kom had the edge in counter-attacks as Cakiroglu struggled to make her height advantage count. – PTI

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