Five Indians make finalsThree win bronzeUsha wins the 57kg class
NEW DELHI: India is set for a glorious finish as five of its boxers punched their way into the finals, on an otherwise dark day for the champions in the fourth World women's boxing championship at the NDMC Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Two-time pin-weight World champion M.C. Marykom led the charge early on. Then, L. Sarita Devi (52kg), N. Usha (57kg), Jenny R.L. (63kg) and K.C. Lekha (75kg) followed the way into the finals. Chhotu Loura (50kg), Aruna Mishra (66kg) and Renu (80kg) lost their semifinal bouts and settled for bronze medals.
Bad day for champions
The penultimate day turned out to be a minefield for World champions as five of them bit the dust. World champion Russia, which had seven gold and four silver medals at the last World championship, was the biggest loser as its three World champions Tatiana Chalaya (60kg), Yulia Nemetsova (63kg) and Olga Slavinskaya (70kg) bowed out.
However, the exit of Canada's Mary Spencer, the 66kg World gold medallist and the best boxer of the 2005 championship in Podolsk, Russia, was hard to fathom. In an overly defensive display, Mary lost out in the final round, 6-9, after having taken a minor lead in the first against Ukraine's Olexandra Kozlan.
But for the host, N. Usha's win in the 57kg class would remain etched in memory for long. Up against Romania's Mihaela Cijevschi, the 54kg World champion, the debutant Usha made slow progress, but kept herself up all the while. Usha was more eager to attack, while Mihaela surprisingly went on the defensive. Usha pounded Mihaela in the third round in which the Romanian had equalised at 7-7 and then 9-9 before the Indian finally won 15-10 to thunderous applause.
In the finals, besides the five Indians, three are three boxers from Russia, two each from China, Ukraine, the United States, North Korea and Argentina. Sweden, France, Ireland, Canada, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Turkey make up the final 26.
The results (semifinals):46kg: M.C. Marykom (Ind) bt Jong Ok (PRK) 20-8; Steluta Duta (Rom) bt Boranbayeva Zalgul (Kaz) RSC (OS) II.
48kg: Yesica Bopp (Arg) bt Alice Kate (Phi) 16-9; Ri Jong Hyang (PRK) bt Marlen Esparz (US) RSC (OS) I.
50kg: Hasibe Erkoc (Tur) bt Chhotu Loura (Ind) 17-8; Siyuan Li (Chn) bt Fadia Ldrissi (Den) 25-6.
52kg: L. Sarita Devi (Ind) bt Samiha Hassan (Egy) RSC (OC) II; Viktoria Rudenko (Ukr) bt Jagoda Karge (Pol) RSC (OC) II.
54kg: Karolina Michalczuk (Pol) bt Qin Zhang (Chn) 17-11; Sofya Ochigava (Rus) bt Ludmyla Hrytsay (Ukr) 21-4.
57kg: Yum Kum Ju (PRK) bt Bin Wu (Chn) 23-4; N. Usha (Ind) bt Mihaela Cijevschi (Rom) 15-10.
60kg: Anabella Farias (Arg) bt Mitchel Martinez (Phi) 18-13; Katie Taylor (Ire) bt Tatiana Chalaya (Rus) 23-6.
63kg: Jenny R.L. (Ind) bt Kathleen Dunn (Can) 25-19; Klara Svensson (Swe) bt Yulia Nemetsova (Rus) 28-13.
66kg: Aya Cissoko (Fra) bt Aruna Mishra (Ind) 13-8; Olexandra Kozlan (Ukr) bt Mary Spencer (Can) 9-6.
70kg: Akima Stocks (U.S.) bt Luminita Turcin (Rom) 25-13; Ariane Fortin (Can) bt Olga Slavinskaya (Rus) 22-11.
75kg: K.C. Lekha (Ind) bt Anita Ducza (Hun) 24-6; Jinzi Li (Chn) bt Olga Novikova (Ukr) 17-16.
80kg: Chatiqua Hemmingway (U.S.) bt Renu (Ind) 10-7; Irina Sinetskaya (Rus) bt Beata Malek (Pol) 18-17.
86kg: Maria Kovacs (Hun) bt Adriana Hosu (Rom) RSC (OS) II; Elena Surkova (Rus) bt Semsi Yarali (Tur) 11-10.