Mary Kom in final, Solanki in semis as boxers continue onward march at CWG

By: | Updated: 11 Apr 2018 10:34 AM
Mary Kom in final, Solanki in semis as boxers continue onward march at CWG

Credit: Twitter

Gold Coast: The indomitable M C Mary Kom (48kg) stormed into the finals to remain well on course to claim India's first Commonwealth Games gold in women's boxing on Wednesday.

The five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist defeated a defensive Anusha Dilrukshi Koddithuwak of Sri Lanka 5-0 to make the summit clash in her debut appearance at the Games.

Among the men, debutant Gaurav Solanki (52kg) made the semifinals to be assured of a medal.

"It was difficult in the sense that this girl would just not come to me. I had to be careful becauseshe was perhaps waiting for me to let my guard down," Mary Kom said after the bout.

It was a battle of veterans between the 35-year-old Indian and the 39-year-old Koddithuwak.

Mary Kom, also a sitting Rajya Sabha MP in India, prevailed in a rather dull contest where clean punches were few and far.

Despite the height advantage Koddithuwak struggled to connect for most part. She picked up pace in the final three minutes but Mary Kom drew from her own wealth of experience to thwart her.

The Olympic bronze-medallist Indian will square off against Northern Ireland's Kristina O'Hara in the final. O'Hara, a carer at a nursing home in her country, defeated 19-year-old New Zealander Tasmyn Benny in the semifinals.

However, another Indian veteran L Sarita Devi (60kg) failed to secure a medal after going down to Australia's Anja Stridsman.

The former world and Asian champion Indian found teh crowd favourite's power difficult to handle and was also troubled by her ill-fitting headguard.

"It was distracting and I think this other girl was very good. I could not handle the power of her punches. Besides, home turf always brings out the best in you, which was the case with her today," said the gracious-in-defeat boxer from Manipur.

In the men's draw, Army boxer Solanki dodged a tricky opponent in Papua New Guinea's Charles Keama in hs quarterfinal bout.

The 21-year-old managed to evade several attempts at head-butts by his rival in a bout he eventually claimed 5-0.

"It was a risky fight. He was trying to hit me but I think my reflexes were very sharp so I managed to outwit him," he said.

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First Published: 11 Apr 2018 10:32 AM
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