Pinki Jangra enters final of India Open International Boxing tournament
Pinki Jangra, Commonwealth Games medalist, reached the final of the India Open International Boxing tournament (Women & Men) at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi. This tournament is being hosted by Boxing Federation of India (BFI) from 28th Jan - 1st Feb.
Jangra defeated Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand in the semi-final with a unanimous decision. She was compact and displayed plenty of skill as she ducked, weaved and exploded with power. She threw her jabs, hooks and straight rights with clinical precision to outclass her opponent.
Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom also advanced to the final but Shiva Thapa settled for a bronze medal after an upset semi-final loss on Wednesday.
Jangra is the best Indian in the flyweight (48-51kg) category and she has performed as per the expectations. She will next face Jargalan Ochirbat, a Mongolian boxer, who defeated Sarjubala Devi in a close bout with a split 3-2 verdict.
Mary Kom will face Philippine's Josie Gabuco. Gabuco sent second seed and local favorite Monika packing with a dominating performance.
However, there was a major upset in the men's draw when the world and Asian medalist Thapa (60kg), seeded top in this category, settled for a bronze after going down in a unanimous verdict to fellow Indian Manish Kaushik.
This was Shiva's second loss to Manish after the National Championships final last year.
In the earlier rounds, Pinki had a one-sided win with a 5-0 score over the Jordan boxer in the quarterfinal bout and in the pre-quarter bout, she defeated local boxer Meenakshi.
On the inaugural day, Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh said, “This is the first time that BFI is hosting an elite event of this stature and magnitude."
This is the first international tournament for men being hosted in India after the 2010 Commonwealth Championships. It is also the first time that a men's and women's international competition is being held simultaneously in the country.
The women's line-up has five teams with Team E headlined by the celebrated Mary Kom (48kg) and also includes Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Pinki Jangra (51kg).
"This is another step towards taking Indian boxing to its rightful place, which is right there at the top with other powerful countries. Having a tournament on home turf is always a confidence booster," Indian boxing's High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.
"The fact that the performance here will contribute to Commonwealth Games selection is also a major motivating factor for the boxers," he said.
The tournament is the biggest prize money event to be held in the country with a total purse of USD 100,000. 21 countries, apart from the hosts, will be in action, with 143 male boxers — 42 of whom are Indian.
Among the international teams, Kenya (22), Thailand (19), Indonesia (19), Afghanistan (17), Mongolia (17), Nepal (17) and Zambia (18) have the biggest contingents apart from India. Every gold medalist will pocket USD 2500, while the silver and bronze medalists in each event will bag USD 1000 and USD 500 respectively.