Indian girls clinch five gold to emerge champs

Indian girls clinch five gold to emerge champs

It was a gold rush for India at the AIBA World Women's Youth Boxing Championships with the country's pugilists grabbing five top positions to finish overall champions for the first time here on Sunday.

Nitu (48kg), Jyoti Gulia (51kg), Sakshi choudhury (54kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg) and Ankushita Boro (64kg) won gold medals for an Indian sweep in the finals, which were halted for 45 minutes by a minor fire mishap in the spectator stands.

Jyoti also qualified for next year's Youth Olympic Games in Argentina courtesy her top finish and the fact that she was born after 1999.

Adding to the tally were two bronze medals secured by Neha Yadav (+81kg) and Anupama (81kg), making it India's best ever performance at the age group event.

The country had won just one bronze medal at the previous edition of the event and had not won a gold since 2011 when Sarjubala Devi secured the yellow metal. Up against Kazakhstan's Zhazira Urakbayeva, Nitu was the first to walk into the ring for India and she had it rather easy against the Kazakh, whose footwork was all over the place and she struggled to keep her balance.

Jyoti's bout against Russia's Ekaterina Molchanova was fought on an even keel. In a exciting contest, both the boxers matched each other punch for punch and had the packed stadium on its feet with their exchanges.

The taller Russian seemed hardly perturbed by the vociferous support that her opponent was getting but the Indian was a shade better in connecting her blows.

The Indian fetched a unanimous victory, leaving the Russian boxer in tears and her coaches irate. Similar was contest between Sakshi and England's Ivy-Jane Smith.  Smith seemed more dominant but could not find favour with the judges, who were 3-2 in awarding the bout to the home favourite.

Shashi, however, did not face much of a contest from Vietnam's Ngoc Do Hong even though the judges ruled it 3-2 in her favour.

"This was the toughest bout of this tournament for me. It took a lot out of me," said the teenager.

The last bout of the day was Ankushita taking on Russia's Ekaterina Dynnk and egged on by a vociferous crowd, the local girl, whp had been laid low by chicken pox before the tournament, pulled through for a 3-2 victory.

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