North Zone emerges champion

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VICTORIOUS BUNCH: North Zone, which won the team championship title at Tirupur on Sunday.
VICTORIOUS BUNCH: North Zone, which won the team championship title at Tirupur on Sunday.

Sports Reporter

Tirupur: North Zone won the team championship title in the inaugural edition of the inter-zonal senior National boxing championship for women here on Sunday.

The champion unit finished its outing with 34 points, while All India Police with 26 points took the second spot. It was disappointing for the Police team which had some of the best boxers in its line-up. The ‘best boxer’ award to former World champion L. Sarita Devi came as a huge consolation for the team.

Cheer for home team

The home team supporters had something to cheer as N. Swapna Priya boxed her way to gold in the super heavy (81+kg) class. The 23-year-old, a gold medal winner in the Federation Cup last year, outclassed Renu Bala of North Zone in the third round.

Swapna looked solid right through. She started out early in the first round by using her jab to a good extent and continued to throw some hard punches in the second which had the crowd on its feet. With Renu struggling in the third, the picture was clear.

“I am obviously delighted that I brought home the team’s first gold. The crowd was very encouraging and that prompted me to go all out,” said Swapna.

Mary joins the party

Four-time World champion Mary Kom joined the celebration party towards the end. She gave away the awards along with a few other dignitaries. She had words of praise for the organisers. “I was really amazed with the way the championship was conducted. It was truly world class.”

About women’s boxing, the 28-year-old Mary said that its popularity was growing. “We are much better than the men. The crowd is small, compared to men’s tournaments, but the returns are plenty,” she said.

The results (final):

Light heavy 75kg: Laxmi Padeya (EZG) bt Jagarti (CZG).

Heavy 81kg: Kavita (NZG) bt N. Sangita Devi.

Super Heavy 81+kg: N. Swapna Priya (TN) bt Renu Bala (NZG) (RSC OC R-3).

Team championship: 1. North Zone 34 pts; 2. All India Police 26.

Special awards: Best boxer: L. Sarita Devi (AIP); best loser: Rinki Singh (TN). most promising boxer: Pavitra (NZG).

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