Mary Kom’s bid for a fifth Asian Boxing Championship gold medal is on track as she beat Japan’s Tsubasa Komura by unanimous decision in Ho Chi Minh in the 48 kg semi-final on Tuesday. The Manipuri, who won the bout 5-0, has progressed to the final for fifth time in six appearances at the event.
Should she go on to win the final, the Indian would be winning her first gold Asian gold medal in the 48kg category.
The 35-year-old Rajya Sabha MP, who is also a former Olympic bronze-medallist, returned to her preferred weight category after five years of competing in 51kg, which was made an Olympic category in 2012.
Once again, it was a bout fought largely on defensive tactics. The Japanese boxer seemed too wary to go near the Indian, who had to quite literally lunge at Komura for her right hooks to connect.
Mary Kom’s patience with Komura’s tactics ran out in the second round and she increased the pace and ferocity of her own attacks to unsettle the Japanese.
The shell guard to stave off Komura’s feeble right straights ensured that the Manipuri hardly took any blow in what turned out to be a lopsided contest
Sonia battles through to final
Sonia Lather became the second Indian to move to the final after registering a win via unanimous decision against Uzbekistan’s Yodgoroy Mirzaeva in the 57 kg category semi-final.
The first three minutes were largely cagey but the contest opened up in the second round with Mirzaeva going on the offence. Despite her best efforts by mixing up cross-punches and jabs, Lather was solid in defence and was able to fend off the Uzbek’s attacks.
A couple of crucial hooks in the third round turned the tide in the 25-year-old’s favour. Mirzaeva, though, battled hard and had cornered Lather at will in round two but was unable to breach the staunch defence of the Indian. The former World Championships sliver medallist will face China’s Yin Junhua in the summit clash on Wednesday.
Sarita Devi, Shiksha, Seema Poonia, Lovelina Borgohain & Priyanka Choudhary settled for Bronze
Veteran Sarita Devi, who seemed good for her fifth gold medal in the Asian championship, went down to China’s Dan Dou in the 64kg category.
Shiksha lost to Lin Yu-Ting of Taiwan in the 54kg category while Seema Poonia who stepped into the ring for the first time in the tournament couldn’t get a measure of Guzai Ismatova of Uzbekistan in the +81kg competition.
Lovelina Borgohain (69kg) put up a spirited fight before going down to Valentina Khalzova of Kazakasthan while Priyanka Choudhary lost to Yeonji Oh of Korea in the 60kg category.
All five will bring home a bronze medal each though.