Women's boxing has made a promising start to the year with two successful tours. After the encouraging performance by the girls at the junior and youth World championship, the senior team has done reasonably well in the Asian Cup, held in Haikou, China.
Five-time World champion M.C. Mary Kom (48kg), participating in her first international outing after bagging the bronze in the Asian Games, again hit the headlines with her gold-winning performance where the top-ranked boxers from various countries participated.
However, Mary Kom could not celebrate her success in the Asian Cup. After landing here from China on Tuesday night, she rushed to Chandigarh to attend to one of her twin sons who had undergone a heart surgery on Wednesday.
Tackling taller boxers
Talking about her showing in Haikou, Mary Kom said she faced some difficulty in tackling her taller North Korean opponent in the final.
“I have to learn how to tackle a taller boxer. I had faced the same problem in the Asian Games,” she said.
Mary agreed she had to work harder as she was aspiring to compete in the Olympics in a higher weight category. “I have to try and win every competition now,” she said.
Besides, Pavitra (57kg), a gold medallist in the 34th National Games, also made her mark by winning silver. Neetu Chahal (60kg), Kavita Goyat (75kg), Laxmi Padiya (81kg) and Kavita Chahal (+81kg) earned a bronze each.
“Our overall performance was satisfying since this was the senior team's first outing of the year,” said Sagarmal Dhayal, the coach.
Dhayal was more enthusiastic about the nature of the competition than the medals. “Since the best boxers from Asia were in action, there were several quality bouts.
For example, Kavita and Neetu lost by just one point to Chinese boxers (Li Jinzi and Cheng Dong respectively), who were Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallists,” said the proud coach.
According to Dhayal, the Indians adapted well and changed their game to make the most of the new scoring system.
“The new system is good since it compels the boxers to be more aggressive.
“Earlier, if someone got a slender lead, he/she used to go on the defensive. This system gives equal chance to both oxers since they do not know the running scores and try their best until the end,” said Dhayal.
The coach felt that under the guidance of chief coach Anoop Kumar the preparation of the Indian women boxers for Olympic qualification was on the right track.
“Currently, three of our boxers are taking part in the Arafura Games in Australia. Besides, we have three exposure and training trips to Turkey, France and Ukraine.”
Dhayal felt there should be a healthy competition among Indian boxers as far as qualification for the London Olympics was concerned.