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Five Indian boxers in finals

Source: PTI
November 22, 2006 22:57 IST
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Debutant Negisatty Usha created a flutter on Wednesday, ousting World champion Michaela Cijevschi of Romania in the 57kg class, while two-time champion M C Marykom moved closer to her third title in the 46kg as five Indians romped into the finals of the fourth World Women's Boxing Championships in Delhi.

L Sarita Devi, bronze medallist in the 54kg class, outclassed Egypt's Samiha Ali Hassan, last year's bronze medallist, in the semi-final contest of the 52kg class at the Talkatora Indoor stadium.

Of the eight Indians in contention on Wednesday, five moved into the title rounds, raising hopes of clinching the team title. Three pugilists, who lost on Wednesday, will return with bronze medals.

Pugilists from Russia, Ukrain and DRP Korea, however, could pose some competition for the hosts.

Usha, who previously defeated bronze medallist and Pan-American Champion Sandra Bizier of Canada and European champion Ingrid Egner of Norway, caused her third consecutive major upset in the competition by out-boxing the Romanian champion 15-10.

The Kerala boxer took an early lead but Michaela stepped up a gear and was level 4-4 at the end of the first round.

Usha then took the initiative and managed a narrow advantage with side-stepping counters to go 7-5 ahead.

Her sharp, attacking punches combined with counterattacks helped her romp home.

"I had the confidence and a gut feeling that I will win the bout. I did not know anything about my opponent I just played my game," said Usha after the bout.

Mary, who regained some of her fitness after medical treatment, showed her class by thrashing Jong Ok of DPR Korea 20-8 in a rematch of last year's final.

For a hat-trick of world titles, she will face Steluta Duta of Romania, whom the Manipuri had defeated in the recent Venus Cup in the build-up to the event.

Sarita, another Manipuri boxer tipped to win the gold, hit two hard punches on the Egyptian in the first round of the bout and then took an unassailable lead following which the referee stopped the contest by verdict RSC(OC) in the second round.

Her state mate Jenny R L looked in hurry to make her maiden final appearance as she got the better of bronze medallist Kathleen Dunn of Canada 25-19 in a fast paced 63kg bout.

Her right left hooks and upper cuts were enough to make up for her short height in her weight category. Jenny's in-fighting tactics after every attacking punch kept Dunn from scoring.

"I can still believe it is happening with me. That's why tears rolled down my eyes when I was declared," she said.

For Lekha K C it appeared to be a cakewalk against bronze medallist and European champion Anita Ducza of Hungary in 75 kg class.

However, Chhotu Laura (50kg) and Renu (80kg) has to be content with bronze medal finished against their superior opponents.

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