Services men dominate

A. JOSEPH ANTONY

N. Saranjoy Singh outpointed Sandeep Jogu (right) in the men's light fly category.-M. MOORTHY

SERVICES men remained firmly in the saddle, clinching five of the 12 golds on offer in boxing at the Fateh Maidan indoor stadium. Andhra Pradesh was next in the medal hunt, with three, while other states could not manage more than a medal each.

On the distaff side, Manipur won a quarter of gold, while Kerala and Haryana had two each. Right until the semis, one-sided bouts were the order of the day, with referees stopping contests as rivals turned out to be quite unequal.

The two rings erected to stage the women's competitions and one in men, attracted huge crowds. On a couple of occasions, even journalists had a tough time getting in. Inside the more spacious indoor stadium seats were hard to find, what with local fans rooting raucously for their favourites.

For the first time, referees and judges were being assessed. The best of the lot were to be listed as A and B Grade officials and only from this lot would they be picked to officiate for national and international level competitions.

Pugilists from Manipur and Haryana made a mark both in the men's and women's competitions. While the former's boxers showed better technique, the latter's displayed guts, although that did not necessarily lead them to glory.

Exemplifying the north-eastern state's might was the little-built M.C. Mery Kom, the reigning world champion in the light fly category. Her barrages were swift and accurate, after which she'd withdraw. In the final, she skidded and fell, fighting against the taller and stockier Sharmila Devi. That hardly deterred her as she rose to conquer. A native of Moirang Lamkhai village, 40 km from the State capital of Manipur, she was only getting warmed up when the referee stopped the contest in the second round itself (she generally reserves her best for the last two rounds). A leading left would often set off the bursts that brooked no worthwhile reply.

H. Srinivas (left) surprised Lenin Meetei in the bantam weight.-M. MOORTHY

Commonwealth medallist Jitender Kumar of Haryana faced few problems in clinching the men's heavy weight crown. Upsets included Lenin Meetei in the bantam weight and Gurbinder Singh in the heavy weight category.

Introductions to all and sundry in between contests disrupted the schedule, delaying it and on occasions sending it haywire. The only explanation for such interruptions could only be that the platform provided an opportunity for the organisers especially to rise and shine.

The results (all finals). Note: Bronzes were awarded to both losing semi-finalists:

Men:

Light fly: N. Saranjoy Singh (Man) bt. Sandeep Jogu (A.P.) 39-34. Bronze: Nilesh Khanolkar (Goa), H.H. Beliwal (Del). Fly: D. Kannan (SSCB) bt Suresh Singh (Man) 67-64. Bronze: Akhil Kumar (Har), Sundi Raju (A.P.) Bantam: H. Srinivas (A.P.) bt Lenin Meetei (SSCB) 43-23. Bronze: Atul Siddharth (U.P.), Torak Kharpan (Meg). Feather: A. L. Lakra (SSCB) bt Vijender Singh (Har) 21-15. Bronze: V. Ramudamu (Sik), Sachin Gajare (Mah). Light: P. Sreekanth (A.P) lost to C.A. Kuttappa (Ker) 35-42. Bronze: Selvakumar (SSCB), S. Dhanabir (Man). Light welter: V. Harikrishnan (A.P.) bt Manoj Panwar (Del) 24-9. Bronze: Subodh Kumar (Har), Harvinder Singh (Pun). Welter: D. Bhagyarajan (A.P.) w/o from Sanjay Kumar (Har) medically unfit. Bronze: Rajesh Kumar (Del), Dollar Singh (SSCB). Light middle: E. Ranijt Emani (AP) lost to Satish Kumar (SSCB) 15-31. Bronze: Shriram Padwal (Mah), Virendra Singh (Del). Middle: Naveen (Har) lost to Kanta Singh (SSCB) 22-35. Bronze: Suresh Singh (Man), Ram Singh (Pun). Light heavy: Gurmel Singh (SSCB) bt Harpal S. Sandhu (M.P.) 3-14. Bronze: Y. Choudhary (Del), Manoj Kumar (Har). Heavy: Jitender Kumar (Har) bt Harjinder Singh (SSCB) RSCOC-I. Bronze: Sebastian K. J. (Ker), D.P. Thapa (MP). Super heavy: V. Johnson (SSCB) lost to Harpal Singh (Pun) 76-79 (individual score). Bronze: Parvinder (Har), Ravi Gill (A.P.).

World champion M.C.Mery Kom who had it easy in the women's light fly category.-M. MOORTHY

Women: Pin: Roshini Bhusal (Meg) lost to L. Sushila Devi (Man) 8-21. Bronze: Y. K. Swapna (Ker), Kalpana Chowdhary (Asm). Light fly: Sharmila Devi (Har) lost to M.C. Mery Kom (Man) RSCOC (head). Bronze: Surinder Kaur (Pun), Kanaka Durga (A.P.). Fly weight: G. Perveen (Ker) lost to Meena Kumari (Har) 5-25. Bronze: Valanky Duma (Goa), W. Sandhya Rani (Man). Bantam weight: L. Saritha Devi (Man) bt Susham Kumari (Har) 28-7. Bronze: Vimal Naik (Goa), Jeniffer Daniel (Asm).

Feather: Sharmila Yadav (Har) lost to N. Asha Rani Devi (Man) 24-38. Bronze: L. Hlunchngi (Miz), Pronamika Bora (Asm). Light: Aswathy Prabha (Ker) bt Cheena Rekha (AP) 20-6. Bronze: Preeti Beniwal (Har), K. Chitra Bala Devi (Man). Light welter: R. L. Jenny (AP) bt Seema Devi (Har) 17-4. Bronze: Jayamala (Pun), Jyoti Sharma (Del). Welter: Lalmal Swami (Meg) lost to K. Lalnan Siami (Miz) 24-34. Bronze: Lakshmi (Pun), S. Ibemcha Devi (Man). Light middle: Protibha Kachari (Asm) bt Rupinder Kaur (Pun) RSCOC-II. Bronze: M. Singalamma (AP), Surinder Serwate (Har).

Middle: Sangita Khalakh (Jha) bt Karamjit Kaur (Pun) 36-25. Bronze: Renu (Har), Ashwathy Moll (Ker). Light heavy: Gurpreet Kaur (Pun) lost to Lekha K.C. (Ker) RSCOC-I. Bronze: M. Vani (A.P.), Meenakshi Rastogi (Har). Heavy: Reena Kuwar (Utr) lost to Jyotsna (Har) RSCOC-II. Bronze: Jasleen Narula (Cha), Narinder Kaur (Pun).