Indian Open Boxing: Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Amit Panghal bag gold

Sarita Devi beat Simranjit Kaur for the women's 60kg gold medal, while Mary Kom and Amit Panghal got the better of Vanlal Duati and Sachin Siwach respectively.

Sarita Devi celebrates winning the gold medal, beating Simranjit Kaur in the final of the Indian Open.   -  The Hindu

L.Sarita Devi's eyes welled up in tears as she looked up at the heavens to pay respect to her late mother within seconds of beating Simranjit Kaur for the women's 60kg gold medal in the India Open international boxing tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

It was an emotional moment for the 37-year-old former World champion and multiple Asian champion, who won her maiden gold medal in the event and the first since her South Asian Games title in 2016.

The final was not an easy affair for Sarita as Simranjit, a current World championships bronze medallist (in 64kg), was 14 years younger and was in her peak.

However, Sarita used her experience to move around well, unleash her precise left-right combinations and avoid Simranjit's power-packed counters to register a 3-2 win.

“My mother, who was suffering from cancer, watched my World championships (in Delhi in November) bouts on TV from her hospital bed. After my loss in the quarterfinals, she died within two-three days. I owe everything to her,” said Sarita.

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“I want to prove myself again and continue in my pursuit to win an Olympic gold medal.”

Multiple World champion M.C.Mary Kom beat former National champion Vanlal Duati 5-0 in 51kg to earn her second gold.

Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal asserted his class to get the better of a promising Sachin Siwach in the 52kg final with a 4-1 verdict.

Panghal, much shorter than Siwach, maintained a big gap between him and his opponent. He employed his agile foot work and covered the distance to spectacularly land his punches.

A former World youth champion, Siwach, who had earlier beaten a Worlds medallist and a Commonwealth Games winner, displayed his solid counter-punching before accepting defeat.

“Sachin is the tallest boxer I have ever faced. Staying away helped me,” said Panghal, remembering his identical win over Siwach in the Asian championships trials.

Local favouortie Shiva Thapa gave an explosive performance to beat defending champion Manish Kaushik 5-0 in the 60kg final to secure his maiden gold.

After seeing off Worlds medallist Sonia Chahal in the semifinals, Neeraj outsmarted Asian bronze medallist Manisha Maun to take the women's 57kg crown.

The results (Indians unless specified)

Finals

Men

49kg: Deepak bt Govind Sahani 5-0; 52kg: Amit Panghal bt Sachin 4-1; 56kg: Chatchai Decha Butdee (Tha) bt Kavinder Singh Bisht 3-2; 60kg: Shiva Thapa bt Manish Kaushik 5-0; 64kg: Colin Rocharno (Mri) bt Rohit Tokas ABD; 69kg: Ashish bt Duryodhan Singh Negi 4-1; 75kg: Eumir Felix Delos Santos (Phi) w.o. Ashish Kumar; 81kg: Manish Pawar bt Brijesh Yadav 3-2; 91kg: Naman Tanwar bt Sumit Sangwan 5-0; +91kg: Satish Kumar bt Naveen Kumar 4-0.

Women

48kg: Josie Gabuco (Phi) bt Monika 3-2; 51kg: Mary Kom bt Vanlal Duati 5-0; 54kg: Jamuna Boro bt Y. Sandhyarani Devi 5-0; 57kg: Neeraj bt Manisha Maun 5-0; 60kg: Sarita Devi bt Simranjit Kaur 3-2; 64kg: Francessa Amato (Ita) bt Ankushita Boro 5-0; 69kg: Assunta Canfora (Ita) bt Lovlina Borgohain 3-2; 75kg: Bhagyabati Kachari bt Pooja 3-2.

Best boxers: Shiva Thapar (Male), Francesca Amato (Ita, Female).