India was assured of a medal on the day of draws itself after Seema Punia (+81kg) found herself in the semifinals of the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships, where the celebrated M C Mary Kom (48kg) will open her campaign on Thursday.
With just four boxers in the draw in her weight category, Punia found herself in the semifinals on Wednesday and will face Uzbekistan’s Guzal Ismatova on November 7. Olympic bronze-medallist and five-time world champion Mary Kom will open India’s campaign on Thursday, making a return to her preferred 48kg category.
The celebrated Manipuri, who is a four-time gold-medallist at this event, will square off against local favourite Diem Thi Trinh Kieu after she did not get a bye in the opening round. Also in action on Thursday, Shiksha (54kg) will open her campaign against Mongolia’s Oyun-Erdene Nergui.
Four-time gold-medallist L Sarita Devi, making her debut in the 64kg category, got a first-round bye and will face Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the quarterfinals on November 5.
Former world and Asian silver-medallist Saweety Boora (75kg) got a bye too and moved into the quarterfinals, where she will face China’s Li Qian.
Also getting a bye was Lovelina Borgohain (69kg). She has been drawn against Mongolia’s Erdenetuya Enkhbaatar in the quarterfinals on November 5. On Friday, national champion and Nation’s Cup gold— medallist Neeraj will take on Myanmar’s Nally in her opening contest.
On the same day, world championships’ silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) will square off against Japan’s Kana Kurogi, while Pooja Rani (81kg) will be up against Yang Xiaoli.
Pooja’s bout will be a quarterfinal contest and a win will assure her of a medal.
A total 107 boxers from 20 countries are competing in the event where India are placed third in the all—time medals’ list with 19 gold, 21 silver and 20 bronze.
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