India’s most decorated women’s boxer MC Mary Kom assured herself of an eighth Women’s World Boxing Championships medal and her first in the 51kg category when she upset Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia Victoria of Colombia by a unanimous 5-0 decision in Ulan-Ude on Thursday.
Debutants Manju Rani (48kg) and Jamuna Boro (54kg) also joined her in the semi-finals later in the day, while another seasoned boxer Lovlina Borgohain also ensured a medal for herself in what was a near-perfect day for India in the Russian city.
The wins ensured that India equalled their last edition’s performance in terms of number of medals won. And Mary Kom surpassed herself as the most successful boxer in the Women’s World Championship history by securing an unprecedented eighth medal.
The third-seeded Mary Kom defeated a spirited rival in Colombia’s Valencia Victoria, fetching a unanimous 5-0 verdict to make the last-four stage.
“I am very happy to have secured a medal but I would be looking to make it better by reaching the finals,” the 36-year-old Mary Kom said after the bout, according to PTI. “It was a good bout for me and I will now try to improve on this performance in the semifinals.”
Awaiting Mary Kom in the semifinals on Saturday, after a rest day on Friday, is second-seeded Turk Busenaz Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist. Cakiroglu defeated China’s Cai Zongju in her quarterfinal bout.
Rani stunned top seed and last edition’s bronze-medallist Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea 4-1, while Boro, an Assam Rifles employee, got the better of Germany’s Ursula Gottlob by a similar margin after draining showdowns.
Borgohain, on the other hand, pulled off a facile 4-1 triumph over Poland’s sixth-seeded Karolina Koszewska.
However, two-time bronze-medallist Kavita Chahal (+81kg) bowed out after a 0-5 loss to Belarus’ Katsiaryna Kavaleva.
For Rani, her next opponent is going to be Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat, who upstaged fifth seed Yuliyanova Asenova. Boro will take on top seed and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Huang Hsiao-Wen.
In a tactful performance, Mary Kom waited for her chances and defended sharply to ensure that Victoria’s plan to impress the judges by throwing in more punches didn’t yield results.
The Indian’s huge reservoir of experience came in handy as she swung her right arm masterfully to connect well-placed hooks. Her straight punches were as effective and regularly pierced through Victoria’s reasonably strong defence.
With this, Mary Kom bettered her own record as the most successful boxer in the history of the marquee tournament.
The Manipuri, in terms of number of medals won, is in fact numero uno cutting across both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Cuban icon Felix Savon is the most successful in the men’s event with seven medals – six gold and a silver.
Entering into this edition, Mary Kom had six gold and a silver in her kitty but this is the first time, she has secured a world medal in the 51kg category. She had finished a quarter-finalist in this division in the past.
With PTI Inputs