Pinki Jangra beat Olympic bronze medalist Mary Kom in the final of the womens 51-weight category at the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games at NIS Patiala. The result of Friday’s bout means that Harayana’s Jangra will representing India at the Commonwealth Games. The bout was a closely fought contest, which saw two of the three judges scoresheets tied, resulting in the two judges nominating a winner. Kom will now have to to wait until the Asian Games to make a return to the Indian team.
The was the only upset of the day when most bouts followed predictable patterns. Former world champion Sarita Devi beat Pavitra to clinch a spot in the 60kg category while Pooja Rani booked a spot in the 75kg class with an easy win over Neetu Chahal.
Devendro makes cut
The return of Devendro Singh was the highlight of the bouts in the men’s category. Singh who missed the World Championships last year after sustaining a nasty cut during the trials last year booked his spot in the Commonwealth Games in emphatic fashion with a first round knockout win against Amandeep Singh. The overhand right to his opponents chin after less than a minute dropped Commonwealth bronze medalist Amandeep to the canvas. Amandeep made two attempts to stand, but rubber legs saw him collapse on both times until helped up by the referee.
Dinesh Kumar who missed out on a medal at the last Commonwealth Games earned himself another chance with a dominating performance, twice forcing Amritpreet Singh to take a standing eight count. Manoj Kumar gets to defend his gold medal from Delhi at Glasgow with a win over Sandeep.
Among the youngsters, Asian gold medalist Shiva Thapa and Asian silver medalist Mandeep Jangra both came out on top in close bouts against Mohammad Hashimuddin and Manjit Singh respectively. Even in defeat however Hashimuddin, a recent entrant to the national camp from the youth category, showed enough potential to indicate he will be a strong contender in the bantamweight division in the future. It was a tougher journey for Sumit Sangwan in the 81kg category as the London Olympian took a split decision against Kuldeep Singh.
The results of the 52kg and 60kg bouts did not have much bearing on the competition as boxers in the two categories are not going to the Games owing to restrictions on the number of entries. However the bouts gave the boxers a chance to recognise where they stood. As such Madan Lal earned bragging rights in the 52 kg category with a win over Gaurav Bidhuri. While both threw a lot of punches, Lal was clearly the more accurate striker. Akhil Kumar, making a comeback to the ring finally ran out of steam against the hugely impressive Vikas Malik with the latter taking the win after opening up a cut on Akhil’s eyeline.
Walkover for Vijender
What was supposed to be the highlight of the trials, the bout between Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh and World bronze medalist Vikas Krishan, came to nought. Krishan was ruled medically unfit after it was deemed that a cut he had suffered to his eyeline rendered him unable to box on Friday.