Legendary pugilist MC Mary Kom (51kg) finished with a silver medal at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Sunday.
Later on finals day, Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) lost 2-3 to Milana Safronova in the final of her category as Kazakhstan dominated proceedings.
Mary Kom faced stiff challenge from the two-time world champion (in a lower weight category) Nazym Kyzaibay. The Kazakhstan boxer was at the receiving end in the early stages of the bout but came back strongly in the second and third rounds to clinch the final by a split decision, 3-2 in her favour.
Six-time world champion Mary Kom, gunning for her sixth Asian Championship gold medal, looked surprised by the decision in the end. This was her second silver medal at the event for a total of seven medals over her glittering career, the first being a gold that came way back in the 2003 edition.
Up against an opponent 11 years younger to her, the 38-year-old made an impressive start and clinched the opening round comfortably by relying on her sharp counter-attacks.
The intensity picked up in the second round and both the boxers showed aggressive intent. The Kazakh drew level at this point with her jabs landing perfectly.
Mary Kom fought back in the final three minutes but that was not enough to get the judges’ nod.
Another Olympic-bound boxer Pooja Rani, who received a walk-over in the semi-finals, will fight against an in-form Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan, who ended the challenge of London Olympics medallist Marina Volnova in the last-4 stage.
Anupama (+81kg) will face a strong Kazakh boxer too in her final, she will take on Lazzat Kungeibayeva.
Indian contingent has already ensured their best-ever show at the Asian Championships by assuring 15 medals and bettered previous highest of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) achieved during the 2019 edition.
Eight Indian pugilists – Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) among women and Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) among men – have secured bronze medals with their semi-final finish.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA, has allocated $400,000 prize money for the on-going Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with $10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
(With PTI inputs)
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