Mary Kom in final; Vikas, Satish in semis of Strandja Memorial
Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 23 (PTI) M C Mary Kom (48kg) turned on the style as she advanced to the finals, while Vikas Krishan and two other male boxers entered the semifinals on a reasonably good day for India at the 69th Strandja Memorial Tournament here today.
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom, targetting her third successive international gold medal, quite literally toyed with China's Ye Jiali to make the summit clash.
In the men's draw, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) and the unheralded Gaurav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semi-finals to assure themselves of medals.
While Gaurav pummelled Kyrgyzstan's Azat Usenaliev, Vikas edged past Kazakhstan's Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a split verdict to make the last-four stage.
It was a significant victory for Vikas, who is returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, which forced him out of the national championships as well as the India Open last month.
In the evening session, Satish hardly broke a sweat against Iran's Iman Ramezanpoudelavar in his quarterfinal victory.
Their victories took the total number of male boxers in the semi-finals to five.
Earlier, India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semi-final stage along with last editions silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).
Bowing out today in the quarterfinal stage was Manish Panwar (81kg), losing to Russia's Ilyas Mutaev in a unanimous verdict.
India are now assured of 10 medals in the tournament, five of them courtesy women boxers -- Mary Kom, L Sarita Devi (60kg), Seema Punia (+81kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Mena Kumari Devi (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg).
Seema and Bhagyabati got byes into the medal rounds.