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Sub-Junior Women's National Boxing Championship: Manipur Emerges Winner

The final day of competition at the 2nd Sub-junior women’s national boxing championship presented by Monnet I spat and Energy Limited and young emerging pugilists of India were one step away from being crowned “Sub-Junior National Champions”. The JCT College of Engineering in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu played host to some scintillating boxing action and after four days it was time for the final battle.

Going into the finals, it was a fight between Madhya Pradesh and Manipur. Out of the 10 players in the semi-finals for Madhya Pradesh only 6 qualified for the finals. Manipur on the other hand saw seven of its boxers making to the last stage, whereas Delhi and Haryana had 5 players each reaching the finals.

The day though belonged to the state of Manipur. With seven young glove women making it to the finals, the state of MC Mary Kom was already looking to secure the top honours – and so it did.

TS Merina Chiru (50kg) and L Holena Devi (54kg) in the 14 year group accompanied with N Jarina Devi (42 kg) of the 13 year group and KH Binata Devi in the 12 year group all notched up resounding victories in the summit clash to claim the yellow metal, thrusting Manipur into the top spot. Merina Chiru and Holena Devi completely outclassed their opponents Taslima Khatun of West Bengal and Mohini Bute representing Maharashtra respectively, with the referee having to stop the fight in the second round.  Jarina Devi and Binata Devi also secured decisive, although on points against local girl R. Sindhu and Shama of Punjab.

The North Eastern state, which has been continuously strengthening the Indian pool of boxing talent, claimed the sub-junior national title with 4 gold medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze. Hosts Tamil Nadu took the second spot with 3 gold and 3 silver, while Haryana brought up the third position with 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal.

The final battle turned out to be a disappointment for the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Asha Roka and Anjali Sharma were the only two boxers who were able to manifest their dreams into reality with a victory in the finals. Roka, playing in the 38 kilogram weight class of the 13 year group, completely outclassed Jashanpreet of Punjab in a one-sided contest, while Sharma pulverized Gorla Jyothi of Andhra in another skewed battle in the in the 38 kilogram weight class of the 12 year group.  

In the 42 kg weight division (14 years), Nisha Jatav’s purple patch was cut short by the feisty boxer Pooja. Jatav was out of sorts against the Haryana girl and could not play her natural game. Pooja a silver medallist at the inaugural Sub-Junior Women National Championship claimed her first national gold with an 18:7 victory, where Nisha had to make do with a silver medal performance. Raksha Gope (48kg) of the same age group and Sarita Singh Toman (46kg) along with Upasna Pandey (50kg), in the 13 year group, also suffered the same fate taking MP out of contention in the championships. 

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