Indian boxing legend and Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom will be leading the Indian contingent at the Asian Boxing Championships at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi next month.
This will be Mary Kom’s second competitive tournament since the pandemic as she first returned to action at the Boxam International meet in Spain last month. The 38-year old was visibly rusty at Boxam where he eased her way at the first round with a win and then lost her second bout which was the semifinals by a 4:1 split verdict. Therefore she had to settle for only the bronze medal at the international meet.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) who are the governing body of the Olympics sports Boxing in India carried out selection trials in 10 non Olympics categories last week in Delhi for the upcoming Asian meet. Overall all the 10 women boxers will take part in the Asian Boxing Championships.
The Indian women boxers who have already qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics did not have to take part in these trials. Along with Mary Kom (51kg), the likes of Pooja Rani (75kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) will all take part in the continental meet.
Last time at the Asian meet which was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019, Pooja won the gold medal in the 81kg category. Simranjit Kaur also had a great outing as she bagged the silver in the 64kg category. Both the pugilists featured at the Boxam International meet and gave great performances there. They both were unlucky as they could not clinch the gold despite reaching the finals. Simranjit gave her opponent a walkover as he was unfortunate to test positive for COVID-19 just ahead of her finals. Similarly, Pooja Rani also reached the finals and lost to United States’ Naomi Graham who bagged gold medals in back to back competitions- Boxam and Strandja. Therefore apart from Mary Kom, there will be hopes on both Pooja Rani and Simranjit Kaur to do well at these tournaments which are a build-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Other pugilists who made it and will be participating at the Asian Boxing Championships are Monica (48kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg), Jasmine Lamboria (57kg), Pwilao Basumatary (64kg), Sweety Bora (81kg) and Anupama (81kg+).
All the boxers are currently in a bio bubble in a national camp at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.