The reigning Youth World champions Alfiya Pathan and Gitika produced sensational performances to win gold medals while India’s other two female boxers Kalaivani Srinivasan and Jamuna Boro signed off with silver medals in the Elorda Cup in Kazakhstan on Monday.
Nagpur girl Alfiya thrashed the 2016 world champion and strong contender for the title Lazzat Kungeibayeva by 5-0 margin without breaking a sweat in the women’s +81kg final while Gitika clinched a thrilling 4-1 win over compatriot Kalaivani in an intense all-Indian women’s 48kg final.
It was also the debut senior international event for both the youngsters, Alfiya and Gitika. Alfiya proved too strong for the reigning Asian champion Kungeibayeva as she completely dominated the bout which eventually ended as a one-sided affair with unanimous decision in Alfiya’s favour. The experienced Kazakh boxer looked clueless against the young Indian, who demonstrated remarkable skills.
"It's an amazing feeling to win a gold medal, especially against the World Championships medallist," an elated boxer Alfiya expressed after winning gold.
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On the other hand, Gitika, who hails from Rohtak, handed the country first gold by winning an intense all-Indian final against Kalaivani wherein both the boxers started off with an aggressive intent and kept attacking each other. While they continued to exchange heavy punches, Gitika effortlessly shifted the gears as the bout progressed and did enough in the end to tilt the result in her favour.
"It was a great feeling to win a gold medal in the first senior international tournament. This is a start; I want to win more medals at the senior level in international competitions," Gitika said after her win.
Meanwhile, the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Jamuna gave her all against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Uktamova but ended up with a 0-5 loss in the 54kg final.
Alfiya and Gitika fetched themselves a prize money of USD 700 for their gold medal-winning feats while silver and bronze medal winners were awarded with USD 400 and USD 200 each respectively.
With the addition of two gold and as many silver medals on the final day, the Indian contingent also concluded their campaign with 14 medals, including 10 bronze, in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Indian women boxers secured two gold, two silver and six bronze medals in the tournament which witnessed top players in action from strong boxing countries such as India, Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.
Jyoti Gulia (52kg), Sakshi (54kg), Sonia Lather (57kg), Neema (63kg), Lalita (70kg) and Babita Bisht (81kg) were the six bronze medallists in the women’s category.
Among men, Kuldeep Kumar (48kg), Ananta Chopade (54kg), Sachin (57kg) and Jugnoo (92kg) claimed bronze medals.