Women's Nationals: Simranjit claims maiden crown

In an exchange of power-packed punches, which produced a lot of entertainment amidst loud cheers from both camps, Simranjit Kaur beat Jyoti by technical knockout to win the 64kg national crown.

Simranjit Kaur also won the 'Best Boxer' award at the National women's championship.   -  Special Arrangement

Punjab girl Simranjit Kaur out-slugged Jyoti of Haryana to claim her maiden National crown in 64kg and emerge as the 'Best Boxer' of the National women's boxing championship at the Reserve Police Lines Hall here on Thursday.

Haryana, which had eight finalists and won six gold medals, bagged the team championship, while Railways, which had two golds, got the second spot.

In an exchange of power-packed punches, which produced a lot of entertainment amidst loud cheers from both camps, Jyoti used her bone-shaking left-jabs to seize initiative. Simranjit replied with her left-right combinations to keep herself in the contest. The 21-year-old took advantage of Jyoti's loose guard to land a few more and have a better grip over the contest.

Jyoti did not do herself any favour by dropping her teeth guard even as Simranjit received her first standing count in the second round. Simranjit overcame a bleeding nose in the third to deliver some well-directed punches.

As the intensity of the bout reached its peak, both girls showed big hearts despite being on the brink of exhaustion. Simranjit received another standing count, while Jyoti had three in the final round before the referee and judges decided to stop the contest for a technical knockout in favour of the former.

“I knew she was a hard hitter and I was prepared to answer that and win convincingly,” said Simranjit, who had stunned Asian medallist Pavitra on her way to the final.

Nineteen-year-old Soniya Chahal gave a commanding performance to get the better of Kamla Bist of Uttarakhand 5-0 in the 57kg summit clash and win the National title on debut.

Former World championship silver medallist Sarjubala Devi won another tough bout, against Krishna Thapa of the home state, to claim her fourth National title in 48kg. Sarjubala, who had beaten the same rival for the gold medal in 2011, used her experience to stay safe from the fast attacks of Krishna.

Sarjubala mixed up her punches effectively to edge ahead of Krishna, who was later named the best challenger. “I was well-prepared for the tough challenge. The whole championship was tough. It was important for me to maintain my reputation and win the gold medal,” said Sarjubala.

Asian medallist Seema Poonia of Railways upset two-time Worlds medallist Kavita Chahal, who made a comeback after childbirth, 4-1 to take the 82kg crown.



Results (finals)

48kg: Sarjubala Devi (Man) bt Krishna Thapa (Utk) 5-0, 51kg: Neeraja (Har) bt Meenakshi (RSPB) 5-0, 54kg: Shiksha (Har) bt Soniya (UP) 5-0, 57kg: Soniya Chahal (Har) bt Kamla Bist (Utk) 5-0, 60kg: Priyanka Choudhary (RSPB) bt Monika (Har) 4-1, 64kg: Simranjit Kaur (Pun) bt Jyoti (Har) TKO (R4), 69kg: Pooja (Har) bt Shashi Kala (HP) 5-0, 75kg: Kavita Goyat (AIP) bt Rumi Gogoi (Aru) 4-1, 81kg: Saweety Boora (Har) bt Nirmala (AIP) 5-0; 82kg: Seema Poonia (RSPB) bt Kavita Chahal (Har) 4-1.