The legendary M.C. Mary Kom and three debutants are in the same boat as they make their semifinal appearances in the World women's boxing championships at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here over the next two days.
While Sonia Chahal (57kg), Simranjit Kaur (64kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) will aim to bag their maiden World titles, five-time champion Mary (48kg), who has already entered the record books as the most successful woman boxer in the event with seven medals, will be keen to achieve a unique status by claiming her sixth Worlds crown.
Mary and Lovlina will take the ring on Thursday, whereas Sonia and Simranjit will compete on Friday.
May has no surprises in store as she meets Hyang Mi Kim again. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old, who had gotten better of her younger rival in the final to win the Asian championships title last year, will have to be careful against the North Korean, who may have revenge on her mind.
“She (Hyang) could be coming with some plans against me because I had beaten her last year. But I am prepared for it,” said Mary.
The big-hearted Lovlina has come good against some of the best in the business and will be eager to display her worth when she faces World's bronze medal winner Nien-Chin Chen. The Indian must do her homework well as she had lost to the Chinese Taipei opponent in their previous meeting.
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Another North Korean, Asian Games silver medallist Son Hwa Jo, who beat the accomplished Sonia Lather in the Asiad this year, will challenge Sonia Chahal.
Two slim victories in pre-quarterfinals and quarterfinals must have hardened Sonia for the upcoming difficulties.
Simranjit, a former World youth medal winner, has set up a semifinal clash with Asian championships medallist Dan Duo of China. Simranjit's ability to punch above her weight will help her in another testing situation.
India is the second most successful nation in this event in terms of number of medals. China tops the list with five of its boxers making it to the semifinals.
The two countries have made a significant contribution as Asia dominates the scene with 21 boxers from the continent reaching the medal rounds.
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