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Clean sweep for Indian boxers at South East Asia Games in Shillong
by Michael O'Neill
February 21, 2016
     
   
   

(FEB 21) Indian media outlets reported February 15th that several of its leading boxers, both male and female were extremely angry at the delays in finalising a new Indian Boxing Federation to replace the previous organisation banned some two years ago by the AIBA – indeed among the most severe critics was Mary Kom who was quoted thus:


Photo Mary Kom : courtesy Asian Boxing Confederation
 (ASBC)/Facebook

"Yes, they (the boxers) are all demotivated. There's no competition, so it's very frustrating. Whatever effort they're putting in is of no use. They're being patient enough but the future is dark for them without any competition. If there's no National Championship, we won't have any new boxers that means no hope for the future. The future will be dark," Mary Kom told PTI.

"For seniors at least this South Asian Games have come up and the qualification (Zonal Olympic qualifiers in Qian'an next month) is coming up. That's why we're trying hard. Or else it will just be reduced to 'time-pass'," she quipped.

Well those SEA Games have now come and gone but a few days after that interview and India in fact tool all 10 Gold medals including the three Women’s Olympic weights so perhaps all is not as gloomy as the great India suggested though in fairness the Indians will face much stronger competition at the Olympic qualifiers in Qian’an next month especially from China.

Here courtesy of ASBC is their report on the three Women’s weights from the SEA:

“Women's Flyweight class (51 kg):

India's five-times AIBA Women's World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte won the first historical women bout against in the South Asian Games and had to meet with Sri Lanka's best woman boxer veteran Anusha Dilrukshi Kodituwakku who eliminated Nepal's Minu Gurung in the semi-finals. Mary Kom was even more focused than in her previous contests and stopped her experienced Sri Lankan rival very quickly which meant besides to her plenty of titles she won the first woman gold medal of the South Asian Games.

Women's Lightweight class (60 kg):

India's former AIBA Women's World Champion 34-year-old Sarita Devi Laishram had to do her very best to beat Nepal's top woman boxer Saraswati Rana in the semi-final but following that she was able to raise her efforts in the final. For the gold she met with Sri Lanka's Viushika Prabadi who moved up two weight classes in the recent years but her strength was too much for Pakistan's newcomer Ruksana Perveen in the semi-finals. Devi won all of the rounds clearly and secured a gold medal in Shillong which is her first international tournament victory since 2014.

Women's Middleweight class (75 kg):

India's ASBC Asian Women's Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Pooja Rani was too strong for Pakistan's newcomer Sofiya Javed in the semi-final which contest finished in the opening round. The 24-year-old Indian promising boxer did not give any chance also to Sri Lanka's Nilanthi Andaraweera who replaced experienced boxers in the national squad but her performance was more than enough get a silver medal in the South Asian Games in Shillong.”

Women’s Flyweight class (51 kg):

India’s five-times AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte won the first historical women bout against in the South Asian Games and had to meet with Sri Lanka’s best woman boxer veteran Anusha Dilrukshi Kodituwakku who eliminated Nepal’s Minu Gurung in the semi-finals. Mary Kom was even more focused than in her previous contests and stopped her experienced Sri Lankan rival very quickly which meant besides to her plenty of titles she won the first woman gold medal of the South Asian Games.

Women’s Lightweight class (60 kg):

India’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion 34-year-old Sarita Devi Laishram had to do her very best to beat Nepal’s top woman boxer Saraswati Rana in the semi-final but following that she was able to raise her efforts in the final. For the gold she met with Sri Lanka’s Viushika Prabadi who moved up two weight classes in the recent years but her strength was too much for Pakistan’s newcomer Ruksana Perveen in the semi-finals. Devi won all of the rounds clearly and secured a gold medal in Shillong which is her first international tournament victory since 2014.

Women’s Middleweight class (75 kg):

India’s ASBC Asian Women’s Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Pooja Rani was too strong for Pakistan’s newcomer Sofiya Javed in the semi-final which contest finished in the opening round. The 24-year-old Indian promising boxer did not give any chance also to Sri Lanka’s Nilanthi Andaraweera who replaced experienced boxers in the national squad but her performance was more than enough get a silver medal in the South Asian Games in Shillong.”

Here on WBAN we will bring you news of those Olympic qualifiers next month and our congratulations to the ASBC and Indian boxers on a splendid SEA Games this week which included a historic first ever Championships for women, albeit again just the three Olympic weights as decreed by the AIBA.

 
     
     
   
 
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