Railway Sports Promotion Board's boxer Manju, who had made headlines after winning silver on debut at the 2019 World Championships, made lightwork of Orissa's Bhabani Barik.
Living upto the expectations, Manju Rani put up a solid show to begin her campaign on a winning note at the 5th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships at St Joseph’s International School in Hisar, Haryana on Saturday. Railway Sports Promotion Board’s boxer Manju, who had made headlines after winning silver on debut at the 2019 World Championships, made lightwork of Orissa’s Bhabani Barik before winning the second round match 5-0 in the 48kg on the third day of the prestigious event which has been hosted by Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in association with the Haryana Boxing Sangh. Haryana’s Nitu also delivered an equally flawless performance as she beat Rajasthan’s Swasti Arya by a similar margin in another one-sided bout in the 48kg category.
Meanwhile, in the second round of the 50kg category, Punjab’s Komal and Andhra Pradesh’s Ramya Guduru registered hard-fought victories. While Komal recovered well in time against Madhya Pradesh’s Deepa Kumar to win 3-2, Andhra Pradesh’s Ramya Guduru defeated Uttar Pradesh’s Rinky Kishor 4-1.
Earlier, during the bouts played late on the second day, two-time Asian champion Pooja Rani started her campaign with a comfortable 5-0 win against All India Police’s Pinki 5-0. Pooja, who hails from Bhiwani district, had represented India at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Asian Championship bronze medallist Jaismine and defending champion Assam’s Pwilao Basumatary headlined the 60kg category on Day 2. Representing Haryana, Jaismine comfortably beat Chhattisgarh’s Rajbala by the unanimous 5-0 verdict in the opening round, while Basumatary showcased a ruthless display of power boxing and nimble-footedness against Karnataka’s Theertha Lakshmi. While Jaismine was time and again catching her opponent on the wrong foot, Basumatary went on the attack from the word go, hitting Theertha Lakshmi with powerful jabs before the referee stopped play and declared the former as winner.
Forty-nine bouts were contested on Day 2 of the prestigious event which has been witnessing participation of more than 320 pugilists from 36 states/union territories/boards from across the country. Gujarat’s Hardeek Kaur Gill (60kg) also put up a flawless display against Ladakh’s Rigzen Tsomo before winning the contest 5-0. Meanwhile, Maharashtra pugilists continued their good show in the on-going championship as Laxmee Mehra outpunched Sikkim’s Sarmila Rai to win her 63kg opening round bout by Referee Stopping the Contest (RSC).
Chandigarh’s Neema was another pugilist who was in top form in the 63kg category, beating Neha Kasnyal of Uttarakhand 4-1. Shruti Yadav of Madhya Pradesh gave a tactical masterclass against Chandigarh’s Anju in the opening round of 66kg category, winning by a comfortable margin of 5-0. Anju had no answer to Yadav’s jabs and shots aimed at the head, as Day 2 ended on an electrifying note.
The gold and silver medallists will earn themselves a place in the national coaching camp. However, the remaining two names for the camp in each category will be selected on the basis of performances in the selection trials, which will take place right after the Nationals.