Pavitra, Sonia ousted in winless day for Indian boxers at Asiad

Pavitra lost 3-2 to home favourite Huswatun Hasanah, while Sonia Lather was soundly beaten by North Korea's Jo Son Hwa.

The 31-year-old Pavitra (in blue) made her debut at the Games, replacing former world and Asian champion L. Sarita Devi in the lightweight category.   -  AFP

Pavitra’s valiant effort fell just short while Sonia Lather couldn’t figure things out at all as Indian boxers endured a win-less day in the Asian Games here.

Sonia, a two-time Asian and world silver-medallist, was up against North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa in her featherweight 57kg category quarterfinal bout.

The Indian never quite got a measure of her opponent in a contest that could hardly be described as exciting.

Jo was the one mounting most of the few attacks and being a southpaw, she became all the more difficult for the Indian to decipher.

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Jo’s jabs connected powerfully but the bout itself wasn’t particularly impressive, given that both the boxers spent a considerable time clinching and holding.

The duo ended up getting a warning each for clinching.

About 45 minutes later, Pavitra took the ring against home favourite Huswatun Hasanah in the lightweight 60kg category.

The Indian was a comprehensive winner in the first round, unaffected by the partisan crowd’s loud support for Hasanah.

However, Hasanah put the power in her punches from second round onwards, not missing a chance to connect.

Pavitra, making her debut at the Games, stood her ground but the effort could not find favour with a majority of the judges, who ruled 3-2 in favour of the Indonesian.

The remaining quarterfinals will be held tomorrow.

Two-time medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg), Amit Panghal (49kg), and Dheeraj Rangi (64kg) will fight it out for a place in the men’s semifinals, while Sarjubala Devi (51kg) is the lone woman left in fray for the country.