Sonia Chahal entered the final of the Women's World Boxing Championship in her first appearance. (Image credit: AIBA)
India’s Sonia Chahal gave the country even more glory as she defeated North Korea’s Son Hwa Jo 5-0 in the semi-final of the 57kg featherweight category to enter the final and assure herself of a silver medal in the Women’s World Boxing Championship held at the Indira Gandhi stadium in New Delhi on Friday. This is a remarkable feat for Sonia, who is playing in the World Championships for the first time and her win was a tribute to her superior defensive technique against the North Korean, who had secured silver in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Heading into the contest, the Bhiwani girl said the result was unbelievable.
“I just cannot believe that I have reached the final. The fact that I have achieved this in front of my home fans is simply wonderful. I am very happy with my performance. The final will be tough as both (potential opponents) are hard-hitters. I am prepared for the situation,” Sonia said.
Sonia added that she had to take a different approach towards the end of the game against her North Korean opponent and the advice from her coach gave her the initiative in the third round. “It was a tough bout as she was as Asian Games silver medalist. She was quiet fast as well. I had to be aggressive and I did that in the third round. The coach told me that if I play aggressively in the third round, I can win the contest,” Sonia said.
Sonia will now face Germany's Ornella Gabriele Wahner, who defeated Jemyma Betrian of Netherlands. However, there was a bittersweet result for India in the women's light 64kg ight welterweight category as Simranjit Kaur lost 1-4 to Dan Dou in the semi-finals to settle for bronze.
The Haryana girl’s result is a double boost for India, who have already have one medal assured in MC Mary Kom who defeated Kim Hyang Mi of North Korea 5-0 in the semi-final of the 48 kg light flyweight category on Thursday.
The Women’s World Championship is a special tournament for Mary Kom. Ever since 2001, when the event first took place, the 35-year-old has won six medals, five of which were gold. Her tally of five individual gold medals is the joint-most by any athlete and she now has the chance to win a gold medal in the World Boxing Championship for the first time since 2010.
In the entire history of the Amateur World Boxing Championship, only one individual has won six gold medals. Felix Savon of Cuba won from 1986 to 1999 in the 91kg category and Mary Kom has the chance to level that.