Manju Rani had the chance to create history and join MC Mary Kom in the list of gold-medal winners in the World Boxing Championships. However, in the final of the 48 kg category, Manju came up short against Ekaterina Paltceva of Russia to settle for silver. With this, India's ace boxers in Mary Kom, Jamuna Boro, Lovlina Borgohain and Manju have secured three bronze medals and one silver medal. Although this was a decent campaign for India's boxers at the World Championships, the fact that none of them could win gold will hurt them ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, this was a spirited fight by Manju, who was the less-fancied of the other boxers as she put up a good show in her debut championships. Manju lost 1-4 to Paltceva in the 48-kg weight category.
Mary Kom, seeded third, lost 1-4 to second seed Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist. The Indian contingent sought a review of the decision but the appeal was turned down by the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) technical committee. The rules mandate that the decision has to be either 3-2 or 3-1 for an appeal to be even accepted for consideration. "How and why. Let the world know how much right and wrong the decision is," Mary Kom later tweeted expressing her anguish at the loss.
Rani, who hails from Haryana and made the national camp only this year, put up a gutsy show against the more muscular Raksat. Relying on counter-attacks in the first two rounds, the Strandja Memorial silver-medallist went on the offensive in the final three minutes. She rattled the Thai with her ferocious combination punches, piercing through her shell guard with forceful straight blows. Mary Kom also fought a tactically sound bout but was edged out by the Turk in a split verdict.
Despite this loss, it was a stupendous campaign for the 36-year-old Mary Kom and added to her long list of accomplishments. This bronze is her first world medal in the 51kg category. Besides six world titles, Mary Kom's incredible career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal (2012), five Asian titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.