The 9th edition of Women’s World Boxing Championships has just drawn to a close at the Baris Arena in Astana, Kazakhstan. The home team has finished on top of the table with 4 golds and 2 bronze medals, followed by runners-up China with two medals of each rank and USA in third place with one gold and one silver among their five wins.
India have managed to secure the 10th position which they share with Thailand, Russia and Netherlands, by virtue of pugilist Sonia Lather’s outstanding show in the Featherweight(57kg) category. The 24-year-old boxer from Haryana, on Friday, had to settle for a hard-fought silverware following a gritty contest with Italy’s Alessia Mesiano that saw the European eke out a 2-1 victory in their nailbiting finale.
In the tournament that doubled up as the last qualifiers for the upcoming Olympics in its three featured categories, namely Flyweight, Lightweight and Middleweight, all three of India’s contenders chasing the requisite semi-final berth were ousted before they could even make the last eight.
The other non-Olympic categories still had five Indians reaching the quarter-finals, but as many as four of them crashed out from that very stage on a fateful Tuesday in the Kazakh capital, which thus dragged India’s chances down onto the lone shoulders of Sonia Lather for the remaining two rounds.
Besides Sonia’s silver-winning finish in the 57kg category, here’s what transpired for the Indian contingent at the freshly concluded Word Championships at Astana:
Light flyweight (45–48 kg): Sarjubala Shamjetsabam lost to the eventual champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals.
Flyweight (51 kg) [Olympic category]: MC Mary Kom was defeated by Germany’s Azize Nimani in the Round of 32.
Bantamweight (54 kg): 19-year-old Nikhat Zareen fared brilliantly at the competition, winning three bouts on the trot before going down to the Chinese bronze-medallist Piaopiao Liu in the quarter-finals.
Lightweight (60 kg) [Olympic category]: Laishram Sarita Devi faced her exit at the hands of Mexico’s Victoria Torres in the Round of 32.
Light welterweight (64 kg): Pavitra lost to Australian bronze medallist Skye Nicolson in the Round of 16.
Welterweight (69 kg): Meena Rani was defeated by Germany’s Nadine Apetz in the preliminaries, who then, with her bronze medal, turned out to be the Only German medallist at the championship.
Middleweight (75 kg) [Olympic category] : Pooja Rani was ousted by Britain’s former world champion Savannah Marshall in yet another Round of 16 clash.
Light heavyweight (81 kg): Sweety Boora was knocked out from the last eight stage by Turkish boxer Elif Guneri who went on to win bronze.
Heavyweight (+81 kg): Seema Poonia became the fourth Indian quarter-final victim when she was overpowered by the new world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan on Tuesday.