LONDON (AFP) –
India’s five-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom apologised Wednesday after being knocked out of the Olympic Games flyweight semi-finals, while teenager Clarissa Shields keeps the US flag flying.
“Magnificent Mary”, 29, suffered an 11-6 defeat to Britain’s Nicola Adams, the world silver medallist, who now faces China’s world champion Ren Cancan in Thursday’s flyweight final.
“My whole country was hoping for me to win a gold medal, and I am sorry I have not come back with that,” said Kom, who had to move up a weight category to fight in London and finishes with bronze.
Kom is India’s only boxing medal success of the Games after Vijender Singh failed in his bid to claim a second straight bronze on Monday when he lost his middleweight quarter-final.
“Mary Kom is an amazing woman. What an effort to win a medal for India. We all are extremely proud of you,” tweeted Tendulkar.
The women’s flyweight final will be a re-run of May’s world championship gold medal bout, which Adams lost, but the 29-year-old Briton is hoping home support at the ExCel Arena will see her take gold.
“I have been training since I was 12 years old and to think I am nearly there now makes me so happy,” said Adams.
“I am going to do everything exactly the same as normal, but hopefully the crowd will give me a boost and I can get that gold.”
In the other semi-final, Ren looked comfortable in her 10-8 win over America’s Marlen Esparza, using her longer reach to score with her jab.
Ireland are on the verge of their first gold medal in London after lightweight favourite Katie Taylor outclassed Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva for a 17-9 victory to meet Sofya Ochigava of Russia in Thursday’s final.
But the Russian says Taylor’s popularity means she has an unfair advantage with the judges.
“She is one of the best, but she is just another boxer,” said second-seed Ochigava, who beat Brazil’s Adriana Araujo 17-11 in her semi-final.
“When you fight Katie Taylor, you are already minus 10 points. You are fighting the judges and the whole system and they will try to give her too many points.”
American middleweight teenager Shields is now the United States’ final gold-medal prospect in London after the 17-year-old dominated Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova in her one-sided semi-final to run out 29-15 winner.
Volnova needed two standing counts after enduring a barrage of punishing left and right combinations from the hard-hitting Shields.
The American now faces experienced second seed Nadezda Torlopova who rallied to beat China’s Li Jinzi, having been down after the first round.
“She is very young and I have not fought her before, but I think experience will beat youth,” Torlopova said about Shields.