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Mary in eighth heaven, 3 others also ensure medals 

Ulan-Ude (Russia), October 10

MC Mary Kom (51kg) surpassed herself as the most successful boxer in the Women’s World Championship history by securing an unprecedented eighth medal before three of her compatriots also entered the semifinals.

Manju Rani (48kg), Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) made the medal rounds alongside Mary Kom to ensure that India equalled their last edition’s performance in terms of the number of medals won.

The third-seeded Mary Kom defeated a spirited rival in Colombia’s Valencia Victoria, fetching a unanimous 5-0 verdict to make the last-4 stage. Rani stunned top seed Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea 4-1 while Boro, an Assam Rifles employee, got the better of Germany’s Ursula Gottlob by a similar margin after draining showdowns. Borgohain pulled off a facile 4-1 triumph over Poland’s sixth-seeded Karolina Koszewska.

Eighth world medal

“I am very happy to have secured a medal but I would be looking to make it better by reaching the finals,” the 36-year-old Mary Kom said. “It was a good bout for me and I will now try to improve on this performance in the semifinals.” Awaiting Mary Kom in the semifinals on Saturday is second-seeded Turk Busenaz Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold medallist. Cakiroglu defeated China’s Cai Zongju in her quarterfinal bout. 

Rani’s next opponent is Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat, who upstaged fifth seed Yuliyanova Asenova. Boro will take on top seed Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei. Borgohain’s opponent in the semifinals would be China’s Yang Liu, who shocked top seed Chen Nien-Chin in the quarterfinals. However, Kavita Chahal (+81kg) bowed out after a 0-5 loss to Belarus’ Katsiaryna Kavaleva.

Waiting game

Mary Kom waited for her chances and defended sharply to ensure that Victoria’s plan to impress the judges by throwing in more punches didn’t yield results. The Indian’s huge reservoir of experience came in handy as she swung her right arm masterfully to connect well-placed hooks. Her straight punches were as effective and regularly pierced through Victoria’s reasonably strong defence.

Entering this edition of the event, Mary Kom had six gold and one silver in her kitty. However, they were all in lower categories, and this is the first time that she has secured a world medal in the 51kg category. She had finished as a quarterfinalist in this division in the past.

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