The seasoned M C Mary Kom (48kg) collected her third gold medal of the year with a display of tactical brilliance while Manisha (54kg) settled for a silver in the 13th Silesian Open Boxing Tournament for women in Gliwice, Poland. Five-time world champion Mary Kom, returning to the ring after recovering from some niggles that kept her out of the Asian Games, prevailed 5-0 against Kazakhstan’s Aigerim Kassanayeva to pick up India’s lone senior category gold at the event Saturday. Her other two gold medals this year came in the inaugural India Open in Delhi and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. She also won a silver at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria.
The 35-year-old former Olympic bronze-medallist was in her elements against a taller opponent, displaying a brilliant counter-attacking strategy. The nimble-footed Indian showed sharp reflexes and did not allow a clear shot to Kassanayeva through the bout. “Mary was terrific in executing her strategy, it was a flawless performance,” India coach Rafaelle Bergamasco told PTI from Gliwice. The Manipuri, a 2014 Asian Games gold-medallist, took full advantage of her rival’s hesitation and went full throttle in the final three minutes to strike some good body blows.
Her strong right hand worked well for her and she never allowed the southpaw to settle. Manisha was next to take the ring against Ukraine’s Ivanna Krupenia. The Indian went down 2-3 even though she came across as the more aggressive of the two boxers. “Manisha was very good in the bout and in my opinion, she deserved to win,” said Bergamasco.
India also won four bronze medals in the senior category through former world champion L Sarita Devi (60kg), Ritu Grewal (51kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (81kg). In the youth competition, Jyoti Gulia (51kg), a former world champion and India’s only boxer to have qualified for next month’s Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, was India’s lone medallist with a gold.
In the junior competition though, the Indian team produced a terrific performance to sign off with 13 medals — six gold, six silver and a bronze.
Indian boxers win 3 gold medals in Turkey
Simranjit Kaur (64kg), Monika (48kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg) claimed gold medals as Indian boxers notched up an impressive seven podium finishes at the Ahmet Comert Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey.
Simranjit, a former national medallist, defeated Turkey’s Sema Caliskan to fetch the top honours. Competing in the light fly category, Monika beat Ayse Cagirer of Turkey to win the gold medal, while Bhagyabati got the better of Selma Karakoyun, who is also from the host nation, in the light heavyweight category.
However, Pinki Jangra (51kg), a former Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist, had to be content with a silver as she lost to another local hope Busenaz Cakiroglu to sign off second in the tournament. World Championship silver medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) too, settled for a bronze. Bhagyabati was declared the most scientific boxer of the tournament, and the Indian women’s team finished third.