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Strandja Memorial Tournament: Amit Panghal wins gold; Mary Kom, Seema Punia bag silver medals

Sofia: Amit Panghal claimed his second consecutive international gold but the celebrated MC Mary Kom had to be content with a silver in the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament for men and women in Sofia on Sunday.

Amit (49kg), who fetched the top honours at last month's India Open, defeated Morocco's Said Mordaji to fetch the yellow metal.

File image of Mary Kom. Reuters

File image of Mary Kom. Reuters

The 23-year-old Haryana-boxer recovered from a sloppy start to out-manuever Mordaji, who was taller and matched the Indian in pace but eventually fell short on accuracy.

However, Mary Kom (48kg), who came into the event in pursuit of a third consecutive gold medal after the Asian championships and the India Open, lost to Bulgaria's Sevda Asenova in a rather shocking decision.

Also settling for a silver was Seema Poonia (+81kg), who went down to Russia's Anna Ivanova, done in by her rival's sheer power.

It was a stunning result for Mary Kom, who dominated the bout against the local favourite. The Olympic bronze-medallist Indian was the one initiating any attack for most of the bout.

In fact, she quite literally chased Asenova, who was content with occasional touches and back-paddling evasively. One such chase for getting a punch across by Mary Kom led to the boxers tumbling over each other.

It came as quite a surprise when the judges ruled in the Asenova's favour, leaving the Indian corner shocked.

In contrast, Seema was up against a power-puncher in Ivanova and was found wanting. Ivanova was also quicker of the two and stuck to hitting straight.

Such was the Russian's dominance that even a warning in the final round for bending had no bearing on the final outcome.

The Indian women boxers thus finished the event with two silver and four bronze medals.

The bronze-medallist were Meena Kumari Devi (54kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Saweety Boora (75kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg).

The bronze-medallists among the men were Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), and Satish Kumar (+91kg).


Updated Date: Feb 25, 2018 22:24 PM

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