The rise in competition in women's boxing was apparent as experienced hands, such as L. Sarita Devi and S. Sarjubala Devi, faced some tough challenge before emerging as champions in the National boxing championship at the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex here on Friday.

Former World champion and multiple-time Asian champion Sarita pipped Pavitra 4-1 to claim the 60kg title, while former World youth title winner Sarjubala survived a scare against rookie boxer Ritu with a 3-2 victory and took the 51kg gold medal on her first attempt.

Sarita, who had claimed a 64kg Asian championship bronze last year, wanted to test herself on her return to 60kg ahead of a busy calendar. She was stretched to the fullest by her Railways rival in the final.

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60kg winner Sarita Devi (right) and runner-up Pavitra at the National women's boxing championship in Rohtak.


In a quality bout between two experienced boxers, Sarita and Pavitra exhibited opportunism while trading punches. Sarita expressed herself with some solid counter-attacks and managed to remain unaffected despite Pavitra's fine show of combinations.

“I need to work on my fitness and punch correction as I hope to get better for the Commonwealth and Asian Games,” said Sarita after winning her 12th National crown.

Sarjubala, the 48kg title holder who jumped to 51kg, was pushed to the brink by all-India university champion Ritu. Sarjubala displayed her accurate punching skills before being surprised by Ritu's smart move and flurry of punches in the second round.

However, Sarjubala weathered the storm and managed clean shots to register a slim win. She was adjudged the 'Best Boxer.'

Monika, who was in tears after losing her 48kg final bout against Rajesh Narwal and interrupted the action for half-an-hour by sitting in the ring, was named the 'Best Challenger.'

Altogether six bouts were decided on split decisions.

Railways (58 points), which bagged six gold medals, claimed the team championship, followed by Haryana (39) and All India Police (32). The gold medallists got a cash award of Rs. 20,000 each on behalf of Spicejet. The silver and bronze medallists received Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 7,000 each.

The results (finals): 48kg: Rajesh Narwal (RSPB) bt Monika (Har) 3-2; 51kg: S. Sarjubala Devi (Man) bt Ritu (Har) 3-2; 54kg: Meena Kumari (AIP) bt Manisha (Har) 5-0; 57kg: Sonia Lather (RSPB) bt Shashi Chopra (Har) 5-0; 60kg: L. Sarita Devi (AIP) bt Pavitra (RSPB) 4-1; 64kg: Pwilao Basumatary (RSPB) bt Simranjit Kaur (Pun) 4-1; 69kg: Pooja (RSPB) bt Lovlina Borgohain (Asm) 3-2; 75kg: Pooja Rani (Har) bt Alari Boro (Asm) 5-0; 81kg: Bhagyabati Kachari (RSPB) bt Kalawanti (Har) 4-1; 82kg: Seema Poonia (RSPB) bt Kavita Chahal (AIP) 5-0.