Internet Desk: Star women and world champion boxer MC Mary Kom got selected in the 48kg category for the upcoming Asian Women’s Boxing Championship which is scheduled to be held in Vietnam.
After three tiring days of selection, Mary Kom and fellow boxer L Sarita Devi of the 64kg, finally made their way into the list of selected boxers. The upcoming event will be held from 2nd November to 11th November in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mary Kom, a five-time world champion who had jumped a division to 51kg back in 2010 after it was included in the Asian and Olympic Games roster, will be making her sixth Asian Championships appearance.
The Rajya Sabha MP fought six bouts during the trials, winning all despite facing younger rivals in the likes of World Championships silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi among others.
The Olympic bronze-medallist had announced her decision to shuffle between 48kg and 51kg categories, depending on tournaments, at the end of last year.
The 34-year-old has five medals to her credit at the regional meet, four of them gold. But this would be the first time, the Manipuri would try her luck in a weight category that fetched her two World Championship medals — a gold and a silver.
Sarita, 35, also has five Asian Championships medals against her name, four of them gold. Sarita had recently tried her luck in the professional circuit, winning her debut bout, but decided to return to the amateur fold after a few months and decided to jump a division from 60kg to 64kg.
Both Mary Kom and Sarita had missed the 2015 edition, in which India failed to secure a single gold, ending with a silver and five bronze medals instead.
Set for an Asian debut is Haryana’s Neeraj (51kg), who won a gold medal at the Nation’s Cup in Serbia earlier this year.
World Championships’ silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) expectedly made the squad along with last Asian Championships’ silver-medallist Saweety Boora (81g), who would be aiming to better the colour of her medal this time.
Pooja Rani (75kg) and Seema Punia (+81kg), both bronze medal winners in 2015, have also been selected after coming through in the trials. Pooja is also an Asian Games bronze- medallist
India are placed third in the overall medal standings of the Asian Championships. The country has 60 medals in all – 19 gold, 21 silver and 20 bronze.
India’s Asian Championship squad
MC Mary Kom (48kg), Neeraj (51kg), Shiksha (54kg), Sonia Lather (57kg), Pavitra (60kg), L Sarita Devi (64kg), Lovelina (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Saweety Boora (81kg) and Seema Punia (+81kg).