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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mary Kom closer to Olympics berth after another win

Mary Kom closer to Olympics berth after another win

May 15, 2012 17:40 IST

Ace Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom (51kg) continued to make strides towards booking an Olympic berth by entering the World Championships' quarter-finals even as L Sarita Devi's fate hangs in balance after she lost a close last-16 bout in Qinhuangdao, China, on Tuesday.

Mary Kom defeated Norway's Marielle Hansen 18-6 to make the last eight stage of the first and only qualifying event for women's boxing, which will make its Olympic debut in London, in three categories -- 51kg, 60kg and 75kg.

Mary Kom's division has two slots on offer for Asia from among a total of eight. Three Asians have made the quarter-finals -- the other two being Asian Games champion Ren Cancan and North Korea's Hye Kim.

M C Mary KomIf either of the two lose in the quarters on Wednesday, and Mary Kom wins her bout against world No 2 Nicola Adams of England, the Indian will bag the Olympic slot.

"It was a good bout. It was not as draining as the first one and I tested everything that I have in terms of combination of punches," Mary Kom said from Qinhuangdao.

"My opponent today was taller than me and was very accurate with her punches. Her technique was neat and, therefore, I could use every trick in my book," she added.

About her next opponent, Mary Kom said, "I am having a look at her videos and planning my strategy.

"The Olympic berth is coming closer, so, naturally, I am feeling a bit edgy. I will just give my best and let god take care of everything else," she added.

In Sarita's case, however, it boils down to pure luck now after she lost 22-25 to England's Natasha Jonas in the 60kg category.

"If Jonas gets the gold then Sarita will get the second quota place for Asia, as Tajikistan has made the quarter-finals to get the other spot," Indian Boxing Federation secretary-general Brig P K Muralidharan Raja, who is in Qinhuangdao as a technical official, said.

"It was a very disappointing result for us because Sarita lost track in the final round. She was tired and faced two eight-counts," he added.

Meanwhile, in the non-Olympic categories, Pinki Jangra entered the light-flyweight (48kg) quarter-finals after beating Lidia Ion of Romania 26-16.

She is now up against world No 2 Svetlana Gnevanova of Russia.