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Mary Kom, Sarita assure medals in Asian C`ship

Four-time world champion M C Mary Kom (46kg) and L Sarita Devi (51kg) were assured of at least a bronze medal each after they eased into the semifinals of the Asian Women`s Boxing Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Updated: May 27, 2010, 21:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Four-time world champion M C Mary
Kom (46kg) and L Sarita Devi (51kg) were assured of at least a
bronze medal each after they eased into the semifinals of the
Asian Women`s Boxing Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Mary Kom defeated Sri Lanka`s Anushka 6-3, while Sarita
thrashed Ri Hyang Mi of North Korea 10-1 amid protests from
the rival camp, which alleged unfair scoring.

However, it was heartbreak for Mizoram boxer Venlal Duati
(48kg) who lost to China`s Luo Yujie. Duati was locked 1-1
with Yujie after the regulation four rounds and the boxers`
scores were found to be the same in the count-back as well.

The five-member judges` panel then stepped in and all of
them declared Yujie as the better of the two, Indian Boxing
Federation Secretary General Col P K Muralidharan Raja, who is
in Astana as a technical delegate, told PTI over phone.

The diminutive Mary Kom, who is aiming to better the
silver she won in the previous edition of the event, was the
first to step into the ring from the Indian team yesterday.

The 27-year-old took a 2-0 lead in the first round and
stretched it to 5-1 after the third round. Anushka tried to
claw back in the final two minutes but the effort proved too
little too late.

"It was tougher then the first-round bout but I have the
experience to adjust according to the situation. I attacked
more today and caught her on counter-punches as well," Mary
Kom said from Astana.

Sarita, who was a gold medallist in the last edition, was
even more dominant as she out-punched Mi.

With a 3-1 lead to start with, Sarita dominated the
proceedings but there was some drama after the bout as the
Korean team lodged a protest against what they called unfair
judging.

"The Korean team felt that their boxer was not given
points for genuine punches. They lodged a protest," Raja said.

India has an 11-strong presence at the event where 16
countries are competing. India had finished third with three
gold and a couple of silver medals in the last edition held in
Guwahati.

PTI