India’s L Sarita Devi (60kg) stunned defending champion and world No 2 Gulsum Tatar of Turkey to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the seventh World Women’s Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China on Monday and inch closer to qualifying for the London Olympics.
Asian champion Sarita, who is competing in just her second international event after jumping two divisions, defeated Tatar 14-13 in a see-saw contest to continue her bid for one of the two Olympic slots, which are available for India in this division.
Women’s boxing is making its Olympic debut in London in three weight divisions — 51kg, 60kg and 75kg.
The Manipuri, who became a lightweight 60kg boxer just a few months back, will now be up against England’s Natasha Jonas, who defeated Switzerland’s Sandra Bruegger 23-11.
“I have gained in confidence because this is a huge win for me. I maintained an attacking strategy and didn’t allow her to settle into her counter-attacking game,” Sarita said from Qinhuangado.
“This was the first time I was competing against her and I knew it would be tough because I am not known much in the 60kg division," she added.
Sarita endured a draining bout with the scores being level in three rounds before she edged past Tatar, also a European champion, in the final two minutes.