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Gold for MC Mery Kom In Asia - next up, Gold in Rio?
by Michael O'Neill
October 3,  2014


(OCT 3) India’s five times world champion , M.C. Mary Kom fulfilled one of her two remaining boxing ambitions as she took the 48-51kg flyweight Gold medal in the 17th Asiad at the Seonhak Gymnasium in Incheon, South Korea . Now the 31 years old sets her sights on that elusive Olympic Gold in Rio in 2016.

In Wednesday’s final, Police offer Mary met with stiff opposition from the reigning champion, Zhaina Shekerbekova, the 24-year-old from Kazakhstan who had a particularly good opening round before ‘Magnificent Mary’ took command of proceedings and deservedly took the decision 2:0 (39:37 38:38 39:37)

At the subsequent media conference Mary Kom had this to say: “I am very happy to win my first gold medal in these Games. I have won a bronze in the last Asian Games, a bronze in the Olympics and now the gold. I have sacrificed my family life, left my kids behind and worked very hard," said Mary after the bout.

"I was always sure of the gold, thanks to the support of my countrymen. After three kids I am an Asian Games champion”.

The 57-60kg Gold went to China’s Junhua Yin who emerged a clear winner over the host nation’s Jina Park 2:0 with the judges verdict 40:36 38:38 39:37 in favour of the impressive Chinese woman. Yin will now be hoping to go one better when the World championships are held in Juju Island later this year though she is expected to face much tougher opposition from such as Katie Taylor, Sofya Ochigava and Adriana Araujo and the British challenger be it Natasha Jonas or Chantelle Cameron.

The final title at stake was in the 69-75kg division when PRK North Korea’s Unhui Jang gained a 2:1 verdict over China’s Qian Li. This was rather a one sided contest with two judges (Cuba and Italy) opting for the new champion though inexplicably the Hungarian judge made it 39:34 in Li’s favour. The AIBA will surely be taking steps to ensure that there are no repetitions in Jeju Island of some of the controversial decisions seen in Incheon. The eyes of the world’s media not to mention boxers and coaches will now be focused on that event.

As we reported earlier, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has instituted disciplinary proceedings against India’s Laishram Sarita Devi following her refusal to accept the bronze medal after her ‘defeat’ by the aforementioned Korean Jina Park on Tuesday. Today, rather belatedly in the eyes of the Indian media, there was an appeal to the Asian Games organisers  (OCA) from Chef de Mission of the Indian Olympic Association, Adille Sumariwalla, on behalf of Sarita Devi.

‘The Times of India’ quoted Sumariwalla thus: "I attended the OCA working group hearing this morning and expressed regret over what happened at the medal ceremony (of the women's 60kg group) yesterday.

"I told them it had happened in an emotional moment. The OCA has reinstated Sarita Devi as the bronze medal winner. The medal will come to us tomorrow morning,"

Sumariwalla added that he had sought a review of the bout by an independent panel appointed by the Olympic Council of Asia.

"I have asked for a review of Sarita's bout by an independent panel appointed by OCA," said the Chef de Mission.

Late Thursday there followed a new statement from AIBA HQ: “The Head of the Indian Mission at the Incheon Asian Games 2014 Mr Adille J Sumariwalla has forwarded to the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, a letter of apology of Woman boxer Sarita Laishram Devi (57-60kg) who had refused to receive the bronze medal at the Award Ceremony for the 17th Asian Games.

Mrs Devi expressed “an unconditional apology” for her “emotional outburst” at the ceremony yesterday, writing that “I regret and apologize. Such an incident will never reoccur in the future“.

At the time of writing there is no indication that the AIBA intend to drop their disciplinary proceedings against Devi though there are hopes within the Indian contingent and in sections of the country’s media that the apology may be helpful to her cause. Only time will tell – the AIBA had indicated that their committee’s decision would be delivered before the end of the Asian Games. We await that verdict with interest.

Do you agree with the Judges verdict in favour of Korean Jina Park over India’s Sarita Devi 3:0 in their semi-final? You will recall that all three judges (from Tunisia, Italy and Poland) called 39:37 39:37 39:37.

Meantime you can see the controversial bout here via You Tube: Video of Bout   More on Controversy

Women's Finals: Results and Scorecards: Link

From ‘Mud Thatch’ to ‘Mansion; – a Mary Kom tribute Link 

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