London Olympics bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom led the charge as six Indian boxers stormed into the final with comprehensive wins to remain in hunt for all the 10 medals on offer at the 12th South Asian Games here today.
On a comeback trail after recovering from an injury, the five-time world champion Mary Kom’s 51kg category bout lasted less than 40 seconds as she was adjudged winner via Technical Knockout.
After Mary landed some powerful blows her Bangladeshi opponent Shamina Akter rarely stepped forward and had a full crouch stance all the while trying to cover-up at the SAI campus in North Eastern Hill University on the outskirts of the city.
Sri Lanka’s first woman boxer to win a gold in Asian Championship, Anusha Kodituwakku Dilrukshi, will stand in the way of the celebrated Indian boxer for the gold medal women’s final Tuesday.
Anusha had little trouble getting past her Nepalese opponent Gurung Minu as she was adjudged 3-0 winner by the three judges.
If Mary stole the show in the afternoon session, Sarita Devi was the cynosure of the boisterous crowd in the evening and the Manipuri did not disappoint with an easy 3-0 unanimous win over Rana Saraswati of Nepal in 60kg.
Glasgow Commonwealth silver-medallist L Devendro Singh started the proceedings for India when he did well to dodge Thiwana Ranasinghe’s open hooks to win a tight first round 29-28.
Devendro did well to win the next two rounds with ease to be adjudged 3-0 winner in the 49kg.
World championship bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa had the height disadvantage against Mohammad Ohiduzzaman of Bangladesh but the Assamese boxer did well to defend himself before landing some powerful jabs with a tactical gameplan.
“I ensure that he did not take advantage of his height and the gameplan worked well for me,” he said after his 3-0 win.
He will take on W Ruwan Thilina of Sri Lanka in the gold medal fight tomorrow.
Vikas Krishan outclassed his Afghanistan opponent Folad S Wali Shah 3-0 win in 75kg.
2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and 2012 London Olympics quarterfinalist Manoj Kumar (64kg) prevailed over Tshering Wangchuk of Bhutan with an identical scoreline to make the final.