New Delhi, Jan 13:
Indian women boxers were assured of five medals in the season-opening 6th Nation’s Cup after four pugilists entered the semifinals while one made the final of the event being held in Vrbas, Serbia.
The ones who have made the semifinals are former World Championships silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi (48kg), Priyanka Chaudhry (60kg), Pooja (69kg), and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Kavita Goyat (75kg).
Seema Punia (+81kg) is through the final courtesy a bye as her category has only three boxers in fray.
The tournament is being competed among 18 countries in all and features three rounds of three minutes each as mandated by the new International Boxing Association (AIBA) technical rules.
Of the four semifinalists, Pooja is through to the medal rounds owing to a bye. Kavita, Sarjubala and Priyanka, however, won a bout each to advance.
While Sarjubala out-classed local favourite Katarina Djurovic in the first three minutes of her opening bout, Priyanka got the better of Lithuania’s Vaida Masiokaite 3-0.
Kavita, on the other hand, defeated Russia’s Olga Lapekha in her preliminary contest.
Neeraja (51kg) is in the quarterfinals and will face Greece’s Aik Koutsogeorgopoulou.
However, there was disappointment for World Championships silver-medallist Saweety Boora (81kg), Shiksha (54kg), Sonia (57kg), Simranjeet Kaur (64kg) and Pooja (69kg).
All of them lost in the preliminary stages. Of these, Shiksha, Sonia and Saweety were quarterfinalists.
The tournament is the first for Indian women boxers under the tutelage of new coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who served as the men’s coach for more than two decades. (PTI)