Jangra ousts Mary Kom for berth in C'wealth Games squad
In a stunning turn of events, five-time World champion and Olympic bronze medallist M C Mary Kom was left out of the three-member Indian women's boxing squad for the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, from July 23 to August 3.
Mary Kom, who was on comeback trail after an almost two-year break due to the birth of her third child, lost to Pinki Jangra (51kg) in the final of the three-day selection trials, which concluded in Patiala on Friday.
"It was a close bout and I wish Pinki all the best. I hope she brings India a medal," a disappointed Mary Kom said after the setback.
A source who witnessed the trials said the bout between Pinki and Mary
Kom was evenly contested but the youngster from Haryana got the selectors' nod for her sheer aggression and agility.
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Image: M C Mary Kom
'This is the biggest breakthrough of my career'
"This is the biggest breakthrough of my career. I respect Marydidi a lot; she has been an inspiration for us. I am very excited to get this opportunity and will look to make the most of it," Jangra said.
"I think I beat Marydidi because I have been an active camper and she was coming back after a break. So I managed to catch her off-guard," she added.
Women's boxing will be making its debut in three weight categories at the Commonwealth Games two years after the breakthrough in the London Olympics.
The other boxers selected in the women's squad are former World Championship silver-medallist L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).
The 24-year-old Jangra is an Asian Championships silver medallist, who burst on the scene by beating Mary Kom at the 2009 National Championships.
"I am the youngest child in the family and initially when I started boxing after being inspired by my brother, my parents were very protective of me. But eventually they came around," said Jangra.
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Image: Pinky Jangra
Vijender gets nod for third Commonwealth Games
An eight-member men's team was also finalised, but there were hardly any surprises in the line-up, with former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh getting the nod for his third Commonwealth Games.
Vijender, who has a silver and a bronze medal from his Games in 2006 and 2010 respectively, was the expected choice for the middle-weight, 75kg category.
"The men's team has been pruned to eight because the Commonwealth Games organisers have stated that since women's boxing would be making its debut in Glasgow, each country would be allowed only 11 boxers. It was left to us, which categories we wanted to leave out," a selector said.
"So we decided to send women in all three weight categories while leaving out 52kg and 60kg from the men's divisions," he added.
Also making the men's squad were Olympians and Asian medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (52kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg).
Rising name and forner CWG gold-medallist Akhil Kumar's protege Mandeep Jangra was the pick for 69kg division.
In the heavier weight divisions, Olympian and former Asian Games silver-medallist Dinesh Kumar (91kg) and Praveen More (+91kg) will represent India at the quadrennial mega-event.
In the 2010 edition, in Delhi, the Indian men won seven medals, including three gold and four bronze.
Image: Vijender Singh