India’s L Sarita Devi (60kg) stunned defending champion and world number 2 Gulsum Tatar of Turkey to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the seventh World Women’s Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao,China today and inch closer to qualifying for the London Olympics.
Asian champion Sarita,who is competing in just her second international event after jumping two divisions,defeated Tatar 14-13 in a see-saw contest to continue her bid for one of the two Olympic slots,which are available for India in this division.
Women’s boxing is making Olympic debut in London in three weight divisions — 51kg,60kg and 75kg.
The Manipuri,who became a lightweight 60kg boxer just a few months back,will now be up against England’s Natasha Jonas,who defeated Switzerland’s Sandra Bruegger 23-11.
“I have gained in confidence because this is a huge win for me. I maintained an attacking strategy and didn’t allow her to settle into her counter-attacking game,” Sarita told PTI from Qinhuangado.
“This was the first time I was competing against her and I knew it would be tough because I am not known much in the 60kg division,” she added.
Sarita endured a draining bout with the scores being level in three rounds before she edged past Tutur,also a European champion,in the final two minutes.
Tied 3-3 in the opening round,she kept up the pressure on her fancied opponent by making it 4-4 and 3-3 in the next four minutes.
The Indian,who has changed her weight division five times since starting in the fly weight 51kg category,managed to nose ahead in the fourth and final round.
“My sole focus is getting an Olympic berth. I have put in so much hard work that God will have to listen. I am happy with today’s win but not too happy,I will reserve that for the win which gets me an Olympic berth,” said Sarita.