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Marykom storms into final of 4th World Championship
Source: Press Release
November 22, 2006

by Prianca Bora


New Delhi , November 22: It was again a day of mixed fortunes for India, as five boxers led by the pint sized dynamo MC Marykom made it to the finals of the 4th World Women Boxing Championship at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, while Aruna Mishra, Chhotu Loura and Renu failed to make the grade. The three though are at least assured of a bronze, as both the losing semifinalists will be receiving a medal apiece. Jenny RL, Lekha KC, Sarita Devi and N Usha will have a chance tomorrow to show if they too have it in them to use the home advantage to get a gold medal.

MC Marykom moved a step closer to winning a hattrick of gold medals in the World championships, when she outclassed Jong OK of DPR Korea in the very first bout of the day, on day five of the Championships. Silver medal winner in the World Championship in USA in 2001 and gold in the next two editions of the World Championships in Turkey in 2002, and the 2005 World Championship in Moscow had already made Mary a household name and firm favourite in the 46 kg category. That however did not deter the Korean girl too much, as she kept pace with the Indian in the first round, to finish at 4 points, with just a four point difference. But Mary stepped up the tempo in the second round, to finish at 14:7. The sparse crowd at the beginning of the day however made up for their small numbers with their vociferous support, and that egged Mary to go all out and finish the bout at 20:8.

Jenny RL continued her wining spree in the 63 kg category, demolishing Katie Dunn of Canada in 3 rounds. Jenny was full of controlled energy, as she made the Canadian dance around the ring, trying to get away from the Mizo girl. But Jenny had no mercy and the final score read 25:19.

The other find of the Championship, Lekha KC, was like a charging bull, as she kept at Anita Ducza from Hungary during their bout in the 75 kg category. The first round saw Lekha give away just three points to her 12. The second round saw the score move to 17:4 in Lekha's favour. The final round saw Lekha continue in her unrelenting quest to go for the jugular, finishing off the bout at 24:6.

Yesterday's heroine, Chhotu Laura however could not manage to get in enough point-scoring punches in the 50 kg category, though the Indian team would beg to disagree. Though Chhotu managed to keep pace in the first couple of rounds, scoring 5:6 and 8:11, the Turkish girl, Hasibe Erkoc just ran away with the scoring in the final round, to win 17:8.

One bout later, it was time for Sarita Devi to take to the ring in the 52 kg category. And the lass from Manipur Police proved why she is one of India's brightest prospects after Marykom. Her Egyptian opponent, Samiha Ali Hassan tried to have a go at the Indian, but Sarita kept dancing away, to just close in for those killer knocks. The first round ended at 14:5, and the Indian tricolour made more appearances across the stadium. Sarita was in a punishing mood, and the Egyptian did not quite know what had hit her, when the referee stopped the fight in the second round, with the score at 20:7.

In the 57 kg category, N Usha continued from where she had left yesterday, being slow to start off with against Mihaela Cijevschi of Romania, and nearly causing grief to her parents. The first round score read 4:3, while the second round finished at 7:5. But then, with the Indian team, as well as their fans screaming their lungs out, Usha suddenly seemed to wake up from her stupor. The Romanian too kept pace in the beginning, but Usha managed to keep a clear lead, finishing at 15:10 and then ran straight into chief coach Anoop Kumar's arms, despite her mother waving violently from the stands.

Aruna Mishra was in tears after her bout against Aya Cissko from France in the 66 kg category, losing 8:13 in the third round. Though both girls started off aggressively, the French girl seemed to make more contact than Aruna could manage.

The final Indian in contention for the day, Renu, too could not match up to her American opponent Chitiqua Hemmingway and went down pretty tamely in the 80 kg category. It proved to be a pretty low-scoring bout, with the final scores reading 10:7 in favour of the American.

The finals are slated for 3 pm tomorrow, where IOC President, Suresh Kalmadi will be the Chief Guest, while Raja Randhir Singh, Honorable General Secretary of the Indian Olympic committee will be the guest of honour.

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