Six-time champion MC Mary Kom was left questioning the decision of her semi-final on Saturday as she finished with a bronze medal in the 51 kg category at World Women’s Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia.
Mary Kom, seeded third, lost to Busenaz Cakiroglu in an intense semi-final and the judges ruled the bout 4-1 in favour of the second seed from Turkey.
Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist, jumped in joy when the decision was announced at the arena while Mary Kom was visibly distraught.
While the governing body AIBA has a provision to appeal controversial decision, the rule is that a judgement of 4-1 or 5-0 in favour of a boxer (from the five judges) cannot be reviewed. India had raised a yellow card but as per AIBA’s instruction in team meeting earlier on Saturday, the contingent was informed that protests will be granted only if scores read 3-2 or 3-1.
India’s appeal to protest was hence turned down and the yellow card was not accepted by the technical committee, as per a report in the Hindustan Times.
“I am very disappointed with the decision. I think I fought much better and did not deserve to lose but I will try to ensure that this setback helps me achieve bigger things,” Mary Kom told PTI.
Both the boxers seemed hesitant to make the first move in the opening round but Mary Kom had the edge in counter-attacks as Cakiroglu struggled to make her height advantage count.
The second round followed a similar pattern as far as the tactics went but Cakiroglu seemed the sharper of the two.
In the final three minutes, both the boxers upped the ante but Cakiroglu became the dominant aggressor eventually.
Despite this loss, it was an impressive campaign for the 36-year-old Mary Kom and added to her long list of accomplishments. This bronze is her first world medal in the 51kg category, which is part of the next Olympic Games.
Besides six world titles, Mary Kom’s incredible career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal (2012), five Asian titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.
(With PTI inputs)