Six-time champion M C Mary Kom made sure of an unprecedented eighth medal at the women’s World Boxing Championships after advancing to the semi-finals of the 51kg category, in Ulan-Ude, Russia, on Thursday. Joining her in the last four stage were three of her compatriots -- Manju Rani (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Jamuna Boro (54kg), who made the grade later in the day.
The Indian pugilist defeated Colombia's Valencia Victoria by a unanimous 5-0 verdict in the quarter-finals.
"I am very happy to have secured a medal, but I will be looking to make it better by reaching the finals," the 36-year-old said after the bout.
"It was a good bout for me and I will now try to improve on this performance in the semi-finals," she added.
In the evening session, Haryana boxer Rani and Assam's Boro also made sure maiden World Championship medals. While Rani shocked top seed and last edition's bronze medallist Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea with 4-1 verdict, Boro, an Assam Rifles employee, got the better of Germany's Ursula Gottlob by a similar margin.
Rani will meet Thailand's Chuthamat Raksat, who beat fifth seed Yuliyanova Asenova, while Boro will take on top seed and former Asian Games bronze medallist Huang Hsiao-Wen.
Borgohain, on the other hand, pulled off a facile 4-1 triumph over Poland's sixth-seeded Karolina Koszewska.
She will take on China's Yang Liu in the semi-finals, who shocked top seed Chen Nien-Chin in her quarter-final clash.
However, there was disappointment in the India camp as two-time bronze-medallist Kavita Chahal (+81kg) bowed out after a 0-5 defeat to Belarus's Katsiaryna Kavaleva.
After a rest day on Friday, Mary will take on second-seeded Turk Busenaz Cakiroglu, the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist.
Cakiroglu defeated China's Cai Zongju in her quarter-final bout.
Thursday's victory saw Mary Kom better her own record as the most successful boxer in the history of the marquee tournament.
Going into this edition, she had six gold and a silver medal, but this is the first time the Manipuri lady will return with a World Championships medal from the 51kg category.
She was a quarter-finalist in the division in the past. The latest achievement only adds to her legend.
Mary Kom's incredible career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal (2012), five Asian titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.
This year alone she won gold medals at the India Open in Guwahati and President's Cup in Indonesia.
She is also a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha.