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Mary Kom sails into final of World Championship

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Defending champion MC Mary Kom is just one step away from a rare treble after the Manipuri pugilist outpunched Jong Ok of North Korea to storm into the finals of the 46 kg category of the fourth World Women Boxing Championship here today.

Mary Kom had earlier beaten the North Korean in the final of the last World Championship and had no trouble in repeating the performance a round early in this edition.

A fitter Mary Kom, after having recovered partially from the high fever and cold which troubled her in the quarterfinals, was in command from the very start as she took a 4-0 lead before Jong made a brief comeback.

However, the two-time World Champion did not let her guard down against the swift Korean and won the first round 8-4. The second round saw the Indian continue her dominance as she established a 14-7 lead.

Mary Kom then came up with a flurry of punches in the final round to out-pace the Jong and clinch the match 20-8. However, the Indian was once again critical of herself and said she was a bit rusty.

''I think even today, I was not that good. Once again my experience helped me and the fact that I had beaten her earlier also helped,'' she said after the bout.

''Physically I was in a better shape today as I didn't have fever but still I was a bit tired. But I would not let all this affect me and I want to win the gold medal tomorrow for my family, state and country,'' she added.

Mary Kom will take on Steluta Duta in the final and the Indian once again stayed on to watch her next opponent in action as the Romanian outplayed Boranbayeva Nazgul of Kazakhstan 20-5 in the other semifinal.

''I know her (Steluta), I have faced her in the Venus Cup. But I never say that I will win because you never know what may happen between today and tomorrow,'' she said when asked about the final bout.

After the high came the low as Chhotu Loura bowed out with an 8-17 loss to world number three Hasibe Ekoc in the semi-final of the 50 kg category.

The counter-boxer from Haryana struggled to find feet against her higher ranked opponent after a brief fight in the first round, which she lost 5-6. Chhotu never looked like coming back and managed to land just three more punches in the next two rounds as she went down 8-17.

''It's disappointing but never mind, there is always a next time,'' the pugilist said after the loss.

However, L Sarita Devi soon lifted the Indian spirits as she outscored Egyptian Samiha Ali Hasan in the semifinal of the 52 kg category. An aggressive Sarita took a formidable 14-5 lead in the first round before mauling the Egyptian 20-7 before Samiha was counted out by the referee in the second round.

Sarita will now take on world number three Victoria Rudenko of Ukraine in the final tomorrow.

N Usha continued India's winning run as she beat Michaela Cijevschi of Romania in the 57 kg category. Usha will take on North Korea's Yum Kum Ju in the final.

UNI PM AY GC1808

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