New Delhi: India`s assured medal tally
swelled to eight on a bitter-sweet day which saw former World
Championship silver medallist N Usha suffering a shock
quarterfinal defeat in the Asian Women`s Boxing Championship
in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Priyanka Chaudhary (54kg) clinched it by the smallest of
margins against Minova Ayako of Japan after fighting out a
tense quarter-final bout, yesterday.
Priyanka was tied 1-1 with Ayako in the opening round.
She nosed ahead to 2-1 in the second round but Ayako fought
back to make it 3-3 at the end of the regulation four rounds.
The Indian was declared winner after accepted individual
scores put her 7-5 ahead of her rival.
Pavitra (57kg), on the other hand, had no trouble getting
past another Japanese Kugimiya Tomoko 11-2. The Indian led all
through the bout and was never troubled by her rival.
But there was disappointment to follow in the light
weight 60kg category in which Usha was knocked out.
Usha was expected to have it easy against Chorieva of
Tajikistan, a country which is participating for the first
time in the event.
After the opening two minutes ended 0-0, Usha was on the
backfoot in the second round with Chorieva taking a 2-0 lead.
She came back to make it 3-3 in the third round and the
two were tied 4-4 for most part of the final round as well.
But with 20 seconds left on the clock, Chorieva landed a
scoring punch to leave the Indian camp stunned.
"It was not expected. Usha was the hands down favourite
but just a few seconds before the end, she lost the bout. It`s
very disappointing," said Indian Boxing Federation Secretary
General P K Muralidharan Raja, who is in Astana as a
Earlier, four-time world champion M C Mary Kom (46kg), L
Sarita Devi (51kg), Sonam Yadav (75kg) fought their way to the
semis, while Kavita Goyat (69kg), Aswathi Mol (81kg) and
Kavita Chahal (+81kg) got byes into the last-four stage.
India has sent an 11-strong team for the event, which has
16 countries in participation.