Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam): India’s women pugilists asserted themselves in the ring once more, assuring the country of at least four more medals in the Asian Boxing Championships, here on Saturday evening.
Led by MC Mary Kom, who has turned her comeback to international boxing into a sweet one, have made it to the semifinals of this prominent continental championship to block a bronze medal each.
Shiksha and Priyanka Chaudhary were the other two ladies who won their bouts on a busy Saturday to advance to the medal rounds.
Mary Kom was particularly impressive in the 48kg category as she defeated Meng Chieh Pen of Chinese Taipei 4-1. She started on a cautious note, respecting her opponent’s known attacking prowess.
The second round saw the tall pugilist from Taipei shedding her defensive bearings and using a combination of left straights and right hooks to up the ante. Mary was up to the task, though. She ensured that she didn’t suffer too much damage while at the same time she landed a few blows of her own.
Mary Kom came into her own in the third round, using her speed to land the punches that counted. Her strategy worked perfectly as the blitz handed her a 4-1 victory.
In the Bantamweight category, Shiksha turned a fairly tricky encounter against Uzbekistan’s Ferangiz Koshimova into a park in the walk, winning her quarterfinal bout 5-0. She had to be at her best though, as Ferangiz was expected to be a tough cookie.
Priyanka Chaudhary, in the lightweight category, marked her name on another medal as she easily beat Dulanjani Lankapurayalage of Sri Lanka 5-0. Priyanka’s brisk movements gave her an edge from the word go and and she all but cruised into the next round.
Earlier, Seema Punia had earned herself a medal in the +81kg category as she turned out to be one of only four boxers in the semifinals.
Saweety Bora, however, couldn’t emulate her compatriots as she suffered a heartbreaking loss against China’s Li Qian.