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India Open boxing: Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa and Amit Panghal clinch gold medals

India Open boxing: Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa and Amit Panghal clinch gold medals
Picture Credit: BFI

Guwahati: The big names at the India Open, MC Mary Kom (51kg), Shiva Thapa (60kg), Amit Panghal (51kg) and L Sarita Devi successfully won gold on Friday.

Thapa was also adjudged the best boxer of the tournament. Italy’s Francessa Amato emerged as the best in the women’s category.

There was delight for local girls Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Bagyabati Kachari (75kg), who won their respective bouts in thrilling fashion. However, Italians Assunta Canfora (69kg) and Amato (64kg) silenced the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Stadium after defeating Lovlina Borgohain and Ankushita Boro respectively.

The classy Deepak (49kg) also finished at the top of the podium.

As for Sarita Devi, it was an emotional win as this was her first gold medal since her mother died in December last year. In fact, it was her first gold in three years.

The first big bout of the day saw Panghal take on rising star Sachin Siwach. With a significant height difference between the two, Panghal chose to play away from his opponent. But that is a strategy the Asian champion adopts with almost all of his bouts. “Yes, I try to assess the opponents in the first round before going on the attack,” Panghal said.

That is exactly how events panned out. Siwach was unable to cope with the speed of Panghal from up close. And the 23-year-old used that in short bursts, throwing the former youth world champion off guard. “It was surely the toughest bout of this tournament for me. I have sparred with Sachin but he is much taller than me. I wanted to see what kind kind of a strategy I could use and then countered it accordingly.”

Panghal landed a couple of solid blows in each of the last two rounds. Siwach was unable to get his counter-punching game going.

There were no hiccups for Mary Kom after her extraordinary tirade against Nikhat Zareen last night. Vanal Duati try to use her quickness and was brave with her combinations but the six-time world champion was compact. She attacked aggressively from the get-go and had the measure of Duati.

“The quality of opponents was not as good this edition. Only when we have the best around, we are challenged in the ring,” the 36-year-old said. “There is a lot of potential in the youngsters.”

Ashish from the 69kg category perhaps pulled off a surprise, defeating the in-form Duryodhan Singh Negi 4:1 in a split-decision verdict. Thailand’s Chatchai Decha Butdee edged out Kavinder Singh Bisht 3:2 in what was an attritional bout. In the 57kg category, the composed Neeraj bagged gold after out-punching Manisha.

Thapa’s return to form was encouraging and the two-time Olympian was easy on the eye. Manish Kaushik simply couldn’t work Thapa out. The Assamese pugilist’s brilliant footwork was complemented well by getting 1-2 punches at alarming regularity. Thapa, after the game, confirmed that he will not be training in the 63kg category right now. At the end of the first bout, he was planning to chart his upcoming year with according to Olympic requirements. International Olympic Association’s decision to suspend the International Boxing Association has forced a change in plans for Thapa.

Rohit Tokas’ (64kg) journey ended after picking up an injury. Colin Louis Richarno won gold.

Ashish Kumar (75kg) picked up his gold medal following a walkover from Philippines. In the heavyweight categories, Naman Tanwar, Satish Kumar won gold. Manish Pawar (81kg) got a split-decision 3:2 in his favour to beat Brijesh Yadav.

Results:
Men’s

Deepak (49kg) (IND) def Govind Kumar Sahani (IND): 5-0

Amit Panghal (52kg) (IND) def Sachin Siwach (IND): 4-1

Chatchai Decha Butdee (56kg) (THA) def Kavinder Singh Bisht (IND): 3-2

Colin Louis Richarno (64kg) (MRI) def Rohit Tokas (IND): (Tokas forfeited bout due to injury)

Ashish (69kg) (IND) def Duryodhan Singh Negi (IND): 4-1

Eumir Felix Delos Santos (75kg) (PHI) def Ashish Kumar (IND): Walkover

Shiva Thapa (60kg) (IND) def Manish Kaushik (IND): 5-0

Women’s

Josie Gabuco (48kg) (PHL) def Monika (IND): 3-2

Jamuna Boro (54kg) (IND) def Y. Sandhyarani (IND): 5-0

Neeraj (57kg) (IND) def Manisha (IND): 5-0

Sarita Devi (60kg) (IND) def Simranjit Kaur (IND): 3-2

Assunta Canfora (69kg) (ITA) def Lovlina Borgohain (IND): 3-2

Mary Kom (51kg) (IND) def Vanlal Duati (IND): 5-0

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