Mary Kom strikes gold at National Championships

Bhopal: Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom punched her way into gold in the 51kg category by defeating Pinki Jangra in the summit clash on the final day of the 12th Senior Women`s National Boxing Championships on Sunday.

In the most anticipated bout of the day, Manipur`s Mary Kom took on Arafura Games gold medallist Pinki of Haryana in the final of fly weight division at Tatya Tope Stadium.

While Mary Kom was looking to avenge her 2009 National Championship loss to Pinki, the Haryana girl was hoping to add weight to her tag of giant killer. This time though she was up against a more aggressive and determined Mary Kom.

Both the boxers opened cautiously, measuring each other before making a move. The score was level at 1-1 after the opening round. But with the beginning of the second round, the world champion, with her calculative approach of counter attack, started to increase the margin.

Mary Kom managed to win the second and third round with a slender lead of one point -- (3:2, 4:3). In the final round she switched gears and became more offensive at the same time maintaining a steady defence.

The 28-year-old Mary Kom went on to reclaim the national title after a three year gap with a total score of 13:9. It was an impressive victory for the champion who displayed great maturity and skill to overpower Pinki.

Youth world champion Sarjubala Devi of Manipur capped a brilliant performance claiming the national crown in the light fly weight division.

Up against local girl and National Games silver medallist Krishna Thapa, Sarjubala was down by six points after the first three rounds. But in the final round, she made a stunning fightback as she launched an onslaught which Krishna had no reply.

The feisty 18-year-old Manipuri boxer with her lightning fast combinations scored 14 points as opposed to Krishna`s six in the final round. In the end, she went on to claim her maiden senior national title with a 36-34 victory.

In the feather weight division, bronze medallist at the Women`s Youth World Championship, Pwilao Basumatary of Assam had to settle for a silver medal after losing to Mandakini Chann of AIP.

Chann, a silver medallist at the National Games, gave a brilliant performance, dominating the bout throughout. She won 21-11.

In the light weight category, Neetu Chahal of Haryana clinched the yellow metal after beating Preeti Beniwal of the IABF team. Neetu, a bronze medallist at the 2011 Asian Cup boxing tournament and a National Games gold medal winner, registered a 12-5 victory to win her second National Championship gold medal.

Asian Games bronze medallist Kavita Goyat of Delhi successfully defended her title taking the gold in the middle weight division. She defeated Pooja of Haryana 16:11 on points.

Haryana bagged the overall title with three gold medals, two silver and two bronze. Manipur came second with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze while Railways finished third with two gold and three bronze medals.


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