Indian boxers win nine medals in Serbia
It turned out to be a field day for India's young pugilists as they punched their way to an unprecedented nine medals, including four gold, in the Golden Glove of Vojvodina -- an international boxing tournament being held in Kikinda, Serbia.
A Silambarasan (52kg), who was declared the 'Best Fighter of the Tournament', and Manish Solanki (69kg) bagged the yellow metal in the men's section while Rajesh Kumari (48kg) and Chanda Udanshive (51kg) did likewise in the women's division.
Youth World Championships bronze medal winner Lalitha Prasad (49kg) and reigning national champion Neeraj Parashar (64kg) had to be content with silver medals after losing their respective title bouts.
Also winning silver were Marthamma Sattivada (64kg), Diksha (91kg) and Pema Chotan (+91kg).
Silambarasan, a silver medallist in the 2012 Aglorav Cup, continued his form in the tournament as he edged past Scotsman Stephen Boyle in the flyweight division. Both the pugilists played a very similar style of boxing and started off with an electric pace with neither ready to back down.
Action continued in a similar vein in the second and third round with not much separating the two. In the end though the relentless attacking of the Indian paid off as he was declared the winner, the two-time silver medal winner at the Junior Nationals winning on a unanimous decision.
Welter weight boxer Solanki also displayed great class as he beat local lad Stanojevic Lazar. His technical superiority coupled with nimble footwork was the difference between the two. The 2012 Junior Nationals bronze medallist went on to claim his first international medal with a victory on a unanimous decision.
Up against Russian Perminov Ilia, 17-year-old Prasad put up a strong show with his counter attacks and piercing jabs before going down on a split decision.
Parashar too fell short in the final against Sam Ball from Scotland. The Scottish boxers established an early advantage with his superior tactics in the first two rounds. In the final three minutes Parashar tried hard to get back in the game, but Ball was up to the challenge. The Indian finally lost on split decision.
In the women's division, Kumari (48kg) continued her purple patch as she went on to upstage Bulgarian Poptoleva Valentina in an enthralling contest and win the light fly weight title. The young dynamo impressed everyone with her maturity and quick reflexes, for which she was also bestowed with the 'Best Technical Boxer' award of the tournament.
Udanshive upset Bulgarian boxer Buyuklieva Marina in the finals in fine fashion to win the gold medal in the fly weight category.
Sattivada lost to Jelic Jelena of Serbia in what was a hard-fought contest. Rookie boxers Diksh and Chotan went down to Kazakh boxers Rylina Anastasia and Sadykova Umida respectively.