Mary Kom, Sarita strike gold at Asian Championship

New Delhi: Four-time world champion M C Mary Kom got a walkover after her semifinal opponent failed to turn up, while two others notched up contrasting wins to make the finals on a mixed day for Indian boxers in the Asian Women’s Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Of the eight Indians who were in action, five settled for bronze medals after losing in their respective semifinal bouts.

Apart from Mary Kom, the two winners yesterday were former Asian champions L Sarita Devi (51kg) and Aswathi Mol (81kg).

Mary Kom was the first to enter the ring yesterday but didn’t have any opponent to fight against. The jury waited for Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Hoa for the mandatory one minute before awarding the bout to the Indian.

“Everyone was left surprised. Mary went into the ring but the other girl didn’t turn up. Later we got to know that the Vietnamese team had been confused about the timing of the bouts,” Indian Boxing Federation’s Secretary General P K Muralidharan Raja, who is in Astana as a technical delegate, told reporters.

“The schedule mentioned a 1500 hrs start but they thought the bouts will start at 1700 hrs,” he said.

Mary Kom will now take on Korea’s Jong Ok in the summit clash.

Next up was Sarita who staved off a late challenge from Kazakhstan’s Askarova Aygerim to win 12-8.

The Indian was leading 6-3 before Aygerim fought back to reduce the gap to 10-8 in the third round but Sarita managed to pull it off with a couple of points in the final two minutes.

Sarita will now be up against Mongolia’s Miagmardulan.

Aswathi, on the other hand, didn’t have to toil hard in her bout against Mongolian Odmaa Bayasgalan. She was leading 5-0 when the rival camp threw in the towel just over a minute into the first round.

However, there was disappointment for the other five Indian semifinalists.

Priyanka Chaudhary (54kg) was out-punched 4-11 by Kazakh Shekerbekova Jayana, while Pavitra (57kg) went down 3-12 to Yun Kum Ju of DPR Korea.

Later, Kavita Goyat (60kg) lost 1-4 to China’s Yang Ting Ting, Sonam Yadav was blanked 0-10 by Kazakh Shakimova Dariga and Kavita Chahal was defeated 2-12 by China’s Lin Yun Fei.


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