Former champion L Sarita Devi's triumph in the opening round of the flyweight (51kg) category was the lone bright spot on a largely disappointing day for Indian boxers at the sixth Women's World Championships here on Friday.
Sarita defeated Russia's Alexandra Kuleshova 11-8 in a pulsating contest. An aggressive Alexandra was proving to be quite a handful for Sarita but the 25-year-old Indian dug from experience to be 2-1 ahead after the first two minutes.
The Indian held on to the slender lead in the second round as well finishing 3-2. But Alexandra nosed ahead in the third round to lead 7-6 before Sarita roared back by going all out in the final round to notch up the win.
Sarita will now face Yazici Sumeyra of Turkey . "I have never played against this Russian boxer and I am glad that I could put it through," Sarita said.
India otherwise had a disappointing day. In 64kg category, Pratibha Jakhar was out-classed by American Jackson Cashmere in the first round itself. In 69kg, Kavita Goyat was unlucky to lose 4-7 to Andrea Strohmayer of Germany while in 75kg, Aswathy Mol also lost 1-5 to Sagaydakovskaya Inna of Russia.