| London: Indian boxers M.C. Mary Kom and Vijender Singh will be in action Monday with a win in their respective quarterfinal bouts assuring them of at least a bronze medal.
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Mary Kom Sunday overcame a tough battle against Poland`s Karolina Michalczuk in the opening round of the women`s boxing, which is making its Olympic debut in London. The Indian faces Maroua Rahali of Tunisia in the 51 kg class later in the day.
Vijender will repeat his bronze medal show from Beijing if he gets the better of Uzbekistan`s Abbos Atoev in the 75 kg quarterfinals. Atoev is a former world champion.
Leaving aside Mary Kom`s winning start, Sunday was a forgettable day for India. The hockey team suffered its fourth straight defeat and is set for its worst finish at the Olympics.
India lost 1-4 to South Korea in their penultimate group B match at the Riverbank Arena.
At the Royal Artillery Barracks, from where India has got two medals, trap shooter Manavjit Sandhu finished a poor 25th among 34 competitors on the first day of men`s qualification and risks missing the final round.
Mary Kom, a five-time World Champion, put on a valiant display as she downed a bigger opponent in Karolina to enter the last eight stage.
The boxer, known as Magnificent Mary, had to fight hard to progress to the next stage, winning 19-14 at the ExCel Arena.
The first round was a tight affair as both the boxers came out attacking. There was nothing to separate the two as the round ended 3-3.
In the second round, the Indian boxer came out with new vigour and attacked viciously. The Polish boxer too didn`t flinch as she answered Mary Kom`s punches with some of her own.
Many thought the round might go to the Pole, who towards the end sent the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist reeling. Karolina landed a hard right hook which took the wind out of the Indian. But the judges still awarded the round in the Indian`s favour 5-4.
First Published: Monday, August 06, 2012, 11:43