Indian women pugilists strike it rich

The country’s youth boxers had set the tone earlier by sweeping eight medals and also becoming the most successful team in the competition.

Pwilao Basumatary (57 kgs, silver) and Meena (54 kgs, silver) with their respective medals.   -  Special Arrangement

India’s elite women boxers rounded off the Balkan International Boxing Championship by clinching five more medals, including a coveted gold. The country’s youth boxers had set the tone on Saturday by sweeping eight medals and also becoming the most successful team in the competition.

These boxers were selected and sent for the prestigious championship, with an eye on the Asian Amateur Boxing Championship to be held in April next year. The idea was to groom a second set of women to augment the country’s bigger boxing stars. “It was a matter of great pride that the youth women’s team clinched eight medals. But the elite category women too showed their progress by bagging five medals,” Ajay Singh, the President of BFI, said while congratulating the Indian team.

Lalfakmawii Ralte (+81 kgs) was the star of the day. She outclassed Iryna, her Ukrainian opponent, 5-0 in the final to clinch the gold. Pwilao Basumatary (57 kgs) too put up a grand show, going down to Hungary’s E Helena to settle for the silver.

MK Devi Maisnam (54 kgs), Jyoti (64 kgs) and Nirmala Rawat narrowly lost out to their respective opponents in the semifinals of the championship to pick up a bronze each.