Mary saunters into quarters

Mary saunters into quarters

TAKE THAT!: India's Lovlina Borgohain (left) land a blow on Atheyna Bylon of Panama during the 69 kg pre-quarterfinal bout on Sunday. PTI

Every sport produces a champion competitor and in Indian boxing it is Mary Kom. The petite boxer from Manipur drew a deafening cheer before her bout, during it, and after she defeated Kazkakh Aigerim Kassenayeva to enter the Women’s World Championships quarterfinals on Sunday.

The IG stadium’s KD Jadhav hall came alive with her presence and Mary lapped up the ceaseless attention with the same grace she shows inside the ring. Kassenayeva was a tricky opponent with speed and power in 48 kg category. She made it tough for Mary but the five-time champion dug in her wealth of experience to overpower her.

If there were any nerves, the 35-year-old Indian did well to mask it. She was nifty and confident against Kassenayeva, making her move around the ring, at times opening up her defence to land a fine cross. She would know when to hold off the charging Kazakh, before launching a counter-attack.

Mary was solid with her defence too, blocking the Kazakh’s furious punches and swiftly swerving to evade them. When she succeeded, she would quickly pat Kassenayeva’s back of the head. The crowd loved every bit of it.

“There is lot of pressure on me to win another gold at home but I am enjoying boxing now. I am happy I lived up to expectations today,” said Mary, who next faces Chinese Wu Yu.

Before Mary, India won all their three bouts scheduled for the afternoon. Manisha set the tone for the day when she stunned defending champion Dina Zholaman from Kazakhstan by a 5-0 unanimous decision to enter the quarterfinals of the 54 kg category.

Manisha, who had beaten Dina earlier this year, fought a close first round which divided the judges. But the 20-year-old returned with an improved attack and speed, using good head movements to counter the power of muscular Kazakh.

“I do not enter the ring seeing the reputation of my opponent. I was fast and attacking today,” said Manisha, who is now up against reigning silver medallist and top-seeded Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria.

In 69kg, young Lovlina Borgohain put up a gritty fight against Atheyna Bylon from Panama to enter quarterfinals. Lovlina, showed good ring craft and engaged in long-distance fight. She didn’t allow Atheyna to counter-attack, she instead invited her to attack. It attracted some rough moves from a frustrated Athyena but Lovlina was not be denied. She now faces Scot Kaye Frances.

Joining the two was Bhagyabati Kachari who the defeated Irina Nicoletta Schonberger 4-1.

However, India faced a dampener in their last scheduled bout with experienced Sarita Devi losing to Ireland’s Kellie Harrington 3-2 in a split decision in 60kg category in pre-quarterfinals. It was India’s first loss in the competition. The 36-year-old former champion expressed her displeasure at the verdict. "I played well in all three rounds, but I don’t want to say further as I have already faced a ban on speaking against the decision (2014 Asian Games),” Sarita said.

Results: Pre-quarterfinals: 48 kg: Steluta Duta (Rou) bt Jargalan Ochirbat (Mgl) 3:2, Madoka Wada (Jpn) bt Sevda Yuliyanova Asenova (Bul) 4:1, Hanna Okhota (Ukr bt Roberta Bonatti (Ita) 5:0, Ayse Cagirir (Tur) bt Roumaysa Boualam (Alg) 3:0, Chorong Bak (Kor) bt Gulasal Sultonalieva (Uzb) 5:0, Hyang Mi Kim (Prk) bt Meng- Chieh Pin (Tpe) 3:2, Yu Wu (Chn) bt Josie Gabuco (Phi) 4:1, MC Mary Kom (Ind) bt Aigerim Kassenayeva (Kaz) 5:0.

54 kg: Stokya Zhelyazkova Petrova (Bul) bt Tursunoy Rakhimova (Uzb) 4:1, Zohra Ez Zahraoui (MAR) bt Yuliya Apanasovich (Blr) 5:0, Manisha Maun (Ind) bt Dina Zholaman (Kaz) 5:0, Nandintsetseg Myagmardulam (Mgl) bt Zeljana Pitesa (Cro) R2 1:53, Jucielen Romeu (Brz) bt Viktoriia Kuleshova (Rus) 3:2, Peamwilai Laopeam (Tha) bt Aira Cordero Villegas (Phi) 3:2, Kristy Lee Harris (Aus) bt Julianna Rodriguez Acevedo (Crc) 3:2, Yu- Ting Lin (Tpe) bt Ivanna Krupenia (Ukr) 5:0.

60 kg: Mira Potkonen (Fin) bt Ala Yarshevich (Blr) 5:0, Yeonji Oh (Kor) Bt Paige Murney (Eng) 5:0, Sudaporn Seesondee (Tha) bt Namuun Monkhor (Mgl) 5:0, Agnes S. Alexiusson (Swe) bt Hasnaa Lachgar (Mar) 3:2.

69 Kg: Nien- Chin Chen (Tpe) bt Elina Gustafsson (Fin) 5:0, Kaye Frances Scott (Aus) bt Akerke Bakhytzhan (Kaz) 5:0, Mriyam K. Da Silva Rondeau(Can) bt Shakhnoza Yunusova (Uzb) 5:0, Lovlina Borgohain (Ind) bt Atheyna Bylon (Pan) 5:0.

81 kg: Viktoria Kebikava (Blr) bt Gulmira Isroilova (Tjk) R1 2:40, Bhagyabati Kachari (Ind) bt Irina- Nicoletta Schonberger (Ger) 4:1.

+81 kg: Lazzat Kungeibayeva (Kaz) bt Tetiana Shevchenko (UKR) 5:0, Guzal Ismatova (Uzb) bt Adrienn Juhasz (Hun) R2 2:54.


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