Mary Kom storms into final of Strandja Memorial boxing

In the men's draw, Vikas Krishan (75kg) and the unheralded Gourav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semifinals.

M.C. Mary Kom entered the finals after defeating China’s Ye Jiali. (File Photo)   -  Kamal Narang

M.C. Mary Kom (48kg) turned on the style as she advanced to the finals, while Vikas Krishan and two other male boxers entered the semifinals on a reasonably good day for India at the 69th Strandja Memorial Tournament here on Friday.

Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Mary Kom, targetting her third successive international gold medal, quite literally toyed with China’s Ye Jiali to make the summit clash.

In the men's draw, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) and the unheralded Gourav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semifinals to assure themselves of medals at the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament for men and women here.

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While Gaurav pummelled Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev, Vikas edged past Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a split verdict late last night to make the last-four stage.

It is a significant victory for Vikas, who is returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, which forced him out of the national championships as well as the India Open in January.

In the evening session, Satish hardly broke a sweat against Iran’s Iman Ramezanpoudelavar in his quarterfinal victory.

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Their victories took the total number of male boxers in the semifinals to four. Earlier, India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semifinal stage along with last edition’s silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).

Earlier, India Open gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semi-final stage along with last edition’s silver-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).

Bowing out on Friday in the quarterfinal stage was Manish Panwar (81kg), losing to Russia’s Ilyas Mutaev in a unanimous verdict.

India is now assured of nine medals in the tournament, five of them courtesy women boxers — M.C. Mary Kom (48kg), L. Sarita Devi (60kg), Seema Punia (+81kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Mena Kumari Devi (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg). While Mary Kom, Sarita, Saweety and Meena won their respective quarterfinal contests, Seema and Bhagyabati got byes.