Olympics 2021: 3 talking points as Pooja Rani beats Ichrak Chaib to enter 75kg quarterfinals

Pooja Rani at the Tokyo Olympics 2021
Pooja Rani at the Tokyo Olympics 2021

Two-time Asian Championships gold medalist boxer Pooja Rani made a thunderous start to her debut Olympic campaign in Tokyo on Wednesday. The 30-year-old swept past Algeria's 20-year-old Ichrak Chaib 5-0 to move into the 75kg quarter-finals.

India's female boxers have now made it 3/3 at the Tokyo Olympics so far, with Mary Kom and Lovlina Borgohain being the other two to have won their openers.

On that note, here are three talking points from Pooja Rani's commanding win:

#1 Pooja Rani didn't put her 100% in the first round yet got the job done

Right from the outset, the bout showed the difference between the two boxers in experience and class. The Algerian found it difficult to get a measure of Pooja in the initial stages and kept trying to lean in on the Indian to throw punches. It resulted in her losing balance and falling down.

Pooja, on the other hand, steadily got into her rhythm but was never required to put her 100% into the first round. Yet she got the job done with her solid left crosses and jabs that connected and was deservedly awarded the first round by a unanimous decision.

Check Out: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

Pooja Rani has come to the Olympics having won her second Asian Championships gold medal in May. The confidence showed throughout the fight.

#2 Pooja Rani took advantage of her opponent's wrong tactic

The second round witnessed more intensity from both boxers, but Chaib's tactic didn't work at all. She kept charging towards Pooja with her full body weight, who would then smartly sidestep and start her flurry of counter punches.

Pooja's combination punches as well as her top notch dodging and blocking impressed the judges, with all of them voting in favor of the Indian yet again.

#3 The third round was all about Pooja's defense

The Algerian pugilist came storming out of the blocks in the final round. Pooja even fell down once while facing the onslaught. But she had the advantage of winning the first two rounds and confidence oozed from her body language.

Pooja went on the defensive and started maintaining distance for the most part. Towards the closing stages, however, the two engaged in a duel and fell down together. It didn't make any impact on the score as the Indian was declared the winner of the final round.

Also read: Olympics 2021: 3 talking points as Lovlina Borgohain beats Nadine Apetz to enter 69 kg quarterfinals

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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