Two victories followed by two defeats. That’s how Indian pugilists fared on the second day of the Women’s World Boxing Championship on Sunday.
It was Kalpana Choudhary who set out on a pursuit of victory in the 48kg category pre-quarterfinals. Pitted against Egypt’s Nadia Shehata, the girl from Assam, started off slowly — in fact she was down two points initially — but gradually gained momentum to take a 5-4 lead by the end of the first round. She later revealed that it was part of the strategy. “I wanted to go on the attack right away, but I could not as the Egyptian girl was better in defence, and also I was not able to attack properly from the right.
“My coach (Anoop Kumar) too told me to concentrate more on counter-attacks.”
Following the advice of her coach she chalked up a 17-4 lead by the end of the second round, her precise jabs and hooks sending her opponent staggering.
The third round proved to be cakewalk for the last edition’s bronze-medallist. She eventually won 24-7.
N Usha of Andhra Pradesh continued India’s victory trot in the 57kg per-quarterfinals against Sandra Bizier of Canada. She too started slowly but ended up winning the bout 20-14.
Usha, who had her parents and teammates rooting for her, was trailing by a solitary point in the first round but recovered quickly to end the first round at 5-5.
In the second, she fought like a woman possessed — a good upper cut, which pushed the Canadian on the back-foot, was followed by a series of hooks. And soon she was leading 12-8. A four-point lead swelled to six in the final round as she won 20-14. “I am a slow starter,” she said, “but in any case, the winner takes the cake.”
Kalpana’s and Usha’s efforts were undone by Ibomcha Devi and Jyotsna who lost tamely. Ibomcha, who was pitted against Venus Cup gold-medallist Lucie Bertaud of France, seemed completely out of sorts. Trailing from the start she ended up losing 13-23.
In the 86kg category quarterfinals, Jyotsna was up against Semsi Yarali of Turkey, silver-medallist at the last edition in Russia. Yarali mauled the Indian 20-8.