Indian boxers continue rampaging run, 2 more enter final
Guwahati, Nov 25 (PTI) Indian boxers continued to remain an unstoppable force at the AIBA Women's Youth World Championships with two more advancing to the final to take the total number to an unprecedented five, here today.
Nitu (48kg) and Sakshi Choudhary (54kg) won their respective semifinals to continue India's best ever performance at the marquee age group event being held for the first time in the country.
However, Anupama (81kg), a direct entrant into the semifinals owing to the small size of the draw, ended with a bronze after losing her very first bout in the competition. She went down to Russia's Anastasiia Rybak in a unanimous verdict.
"This has been an exceptionally good performance by all of my boxers. They have not just shown good technique but also shown the big hearts they have to face fancied opponents," India's Italian coach Rafaelle Bergamasco told PTI.
Nitu was the first to take the ring, against China's Yuan Nie. It was a battle of equals at least for the first two rounds with Nie proving quite a handful.
What worked for Nitu was her deft right straights, which connected quite impactfully to make an impression on the judges. The second round was marred by excessive clinching by both the boxers but the final three minutes more than made up for it as an aggressive exchange of punches had the crowd on its feet.
Nitu will next be up against Kazakhstan's Zhazira Urakbayeva, who got the better of Ireland's Caitlin Fryers in a fiercely-contested bout.
Next girl in for India was Sakshi, taking on Japan's Irie Sena. The nimble-footed Sakshi had little trouble breaking through Sena's shell guard within a few seconds of the bout's start.
Sakshi also stood out for her ring-craft, dodging her rival's feeble attacks with consummate ease. In fact, the pounding became too much for the Japanese, who threw in the towel in the second round to end her misery.
Sakshi will square off against England's Ivy-Jane Smith, who defeated American Isamary Aquino.
Yesterday, Jyoti Gulia (51kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg) and Ankushita Boro (64kg) claimed contrasting victories to enter the summit clashes of their respective weight categories.
However, in the +81kg category, Neha Yadav, another direct entry into the semifinals due to the small size of the draw, ended with a bronze medal after losing her very first bout of the tournament.
This is India's best ever performance in the event by quite a stretch given that the country has not won a gold medal since the 2011 edition when Sarjubala Devi had finished on top.
In the 2015 edition, India had just one bronze medal to show for.