Boxers revel on grand stage of World Championships

Kosovo did not make the World Women's Boxing Championships, but boxers from eight other countries revelled in representing for the first time on a grand stage.

Somalian boxer Ramla Ali (in red) faces off against Morocco's Toujani Doaa in the Women's 57kg bout.   -  PTI

Even as Kosovo missed out on making its World Women's Boxing Championships debut here, boxers from eight other countries proudly represented their motherland for the first time in the elite event.

Among them, four belong to the African continent, two from Europe and one each from Asia and North America.

For a bunch of Congolese making a noise for their boxers, it was a moment to cherish. The country made an impact as some of its boxers made an impact by putting up strong fights.

“I am proud to have represented Congo at the World championships. It's a big moment for our country,” said 22-year-old Marcelat Sakobi, an African champion, even after losing her 57kg first-round bout.

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For Ramla Ali, who resisted the temptation of being raised in England to represent her country of roots Somalia, the outing might have been a disappointing one due to her defeat in a 57kg opening round contest but the experience was not.

“The crowd support was really helpful. Some of them were Somalis and some were Indians, which was great. It means a lot to be representing my country as the first boxer (and take oath at the opening ceremony with Mary Kom),” said Ramla.

Bangladesh chief coach Syed Mohiuddin Ahmed said, “We are glad and take pride in wearing the Bangladesh colours at the World championships.”

One could also witness a mixture of emotions on the faces of boxers from debut-making countries – such as Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Cayman Island, Scotland and Malta – as they entered the ring with the spirit of competitiveness and the willingness to learn and improve.