New weight class worked to my advantage: Jaismine - Hindustan Times

New weight class worked to my advantage: Jaismine

ByAvishek Roy
Jun 06, 2024 10:36 PM IST

The tall boxer says competing against shorter opponents in 57kg helped her fight from long range

Only three days before the start of the tournament was Jaismine Lamboria alerted about her participation at the World Olympics Qualifier in Bangkok. India had lost the 57kg Paris berth after quota winner Parveen Hooda was suspended for anti-doping rule violation for 18 months.

Jaismine Lamboria in action for India(PTI)
Jaismine Lamboria in action for India(PTI)

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) did well to ensure that the country gets a chance to reclaim the quota, and Jaismine -- who competes in 60kg-- was included in the team.

It was a pleasant surprise for Jaismine as she had twice failed to qualify for Paris Olympics. At the Asian Games she came close to booking the 60kg berth but lost in the quarter-finals. The challenge for her was to fight in a weight division (57kg) she had not competed in two years.

"Just three days before the event I was told that I will be going for 57kg. My weight remains 59kg so I did not have to drop too much," said Jaismine.

The tall boxer did not disappoint and came back with a Paris quota in 57kg winning all her three bouts by unanimous margins.

"There was bit of a pressure. When I was chosen to get the quota back, it meant the coaches trust me and it was my responsibility to repay their faith."

"I never stopped training after coming back from the qualifier in Italy. I was preparing for the world championships this year. I last competed in 57kg in 2021. Then I shifted to 60kg in 2022 because I gained weight after COVID. The infection left me weak and it took me four to five months to recover. So, it was not a new weight class for me."

The tall, counter-attacking boxer used her long reach well to land punches. Jaismine dominated the quarter-final against Marine Camara of Mali, becoming the fourth Indian women boxer to qualify for Paris.

"My height is a big advantage in the lower weight classes (57kg and 60kg). All opponents were shorter and I could easily exploit the long-range game and counter-attack. I was able to control the fight through the left jab and I was faster. I felt after losing weight I gained in speed. The coaches used to analyse the game of my opponents and tell me what strategies to go with."

The Olympics berth came as a redemption for Jaismine. At the Asian Games, in the quarterfinals, Jaismine was battered by North Korean Won Ungyong and referee had to stop the contest (RSC).

"It was the first time that I received counting in the ring. The quota was so important for me and that fight came as a big blow. I kept thinking what everyone will talk about the RSC. Then I went to Army Sports Institute to train and the coaches helped me overcome the mental block. They told me that I should be tough and prepare myself in a way not so that I am able to tackle any adverse situation in the ring."

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