Mary Kom to lead Indian Contingent at Women’s World Championship

New Delhi: Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom will lead the Indian contingent at the AIBA World Elite Women’s Boxing Championships, to be held here from November 15 to 24.

Mary Kom, who will compete in the 48 kg category, will have a chance to win her sixth World Championship crown. Also, nine others pugilists have been selected to represent India in the forthcoming event.

Pinky Jangra (51 kg), Manisha (54 kg), Sonia (57 kg), Sarita (60 kg), Simranjit (64 kg), Lovlina (69 kg), Saweety Boora (75 kg), Bhagyabati Kachari (81 kg) and Seema Poonia (+81 kg) are the other members, making it a strong 10-member squad put up by India in recent times.
Of the 10 members, five-Mary Kom, Lovlina Borgohain, Sarita Devi, Baghyabati Kachari and Simranjit-made it to the squad on the back of fine performances in Poland (13th International Silesian Boxing Championships) and Turkey (32ndAhmet Comert Boxing Tournament).

Mary had won a gold medal in Poland earlier this month while Lovilina and former World Champion Sarita Devi claimed a bronze each in their categories. Similarly, Simran, who bagged a gold medal in Turkey along with Bagyabati, the gold medallist who was adjudged the best boxer for her superior techniques, also got automatic selection into the team. The rest of the boxers were picked on the basis of trials held today.

In the 51 kg category, Pinki Jangra defeated Ritu Garewal, making a strong comeback in the second round despite the first round going in favour of Ritu. Pinki’s tactical precision and experience helped her prevail over the young Ritu as the 2010 CWG bronze medal winner held on to make the cut.

In the 54 kg category, Manisha was confidence personified, thanks to her fine display in Poland where she defeated 2016 World Champion and European Champions. The showdown in the trials was a hard-fought bout with Meena Kumari Devi, a bronze medal winner in Russia and a silver medallist in Turkey, expected not give any easy points to her rival.

However, Manisha proved to be the dominant boxer on the day, trading sharp punches with precise landing to get the ruling in her favour.

2017 Youth World Champion Shashi Chopra was billed as a strong contender against Sonia in the 57 kg class, where an upset was never on the cards. Sonia, who began with a flurry of punches not only surprised Shashi but restricted her movement, making the bout a formality. Sonia, the bronze medallist at the 13th Silesian Boxing Championship in Poland, was superior on the day.
Saweety Boora’s bout in the 75 kg turned out to be a one-sided one against Alari Boro as the gold medal winner from Russian meet earlier this year went all out from the onset to make it to the squad.

As for Seema Poonia, in the +81 kg category, her experience helped her gain a berth in the squad after she beat Kavita Chahal.

The marquee tournament was last held in India in 2006 and remains the best for the country in terms of performance. India had topped the medal tally with four gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

The World Championships is seen as a build-up event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.