Minutes after winning her semifinal comfortably, Jyoti Gulia was back on the ringside to watch Haryana's Ritu Grewal fight Vanlal Duati in the other 51kg bout of the fourth Elite National women's boxing championship at the Mundayad indoor stadium here on Saturday.
“It's going to be a very tough final, Ritu is a tough boxer,” said Jyoti, the 2017 World youth champion about her final opponent. Ritu won 3-2 but her opponent Vanlal was very unhappy with the verdict and loudly protested in the ring for a few minutes.
That apart, Indian boxing's bright young faces – Jyoti, Sakshi Chaudhary, Sonia Chahal and Shashi Chopra – all marched to the final and for the first two, it was their maiden senior National.
That also brought them berths for this month-end's trials for next year's Olympic qualifiers in China and Germany.
The 57kg final between Railway's 2017 World silver medallist Sonia Chahal and Haryana's Sakshi Chaudhary, a winner of three World titles in the junior and youth categories, should be the bout to watch on Sunday.
Meanwhile Haryana's Shashi Chopra, the World youth champion two years ago, took an eight count in the second round of her 60kg semifinal but returned with some hard left jabs to rattle Rekha Tewatia of Police and emerge an easy winner. With Shashi dancing around the ring nicely, Rekha appeared to lose her balance a few times as she lunged only to hit air.
With next year being the Olympic year, the spotlight was on the five weight categories which will feature in Tokyo. And international Pwilao Basumatary (64kg) and the young Nupur, who will meet host Kerala's K.A. Indraja for the 75kg title, were among the prominent names to make the final in Olympic weight classes.
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