Sarita ends with bronze in Polish boxing tourney
Former world champion L Sarita Devi (60kg) signed off with a bronze medal at the 13th Silesian Open Boxing Tournament for women in which India's junior boxers ruled the ring in Gliwice, Poland.
Sarita, also a multiple-time Asian champion a former Asian Games bronze-medallist, was joined by Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (81kg) in the list of those whose campaign came to an end in the semifinals on Friday.
The celebrated M C Mary Kom (48kg) and Manisha (54kg) are the only ones to have made the finals, scheduled on Saturday night, among the senior Indian boxers, while former youth world champion Jyoti Gulia (51kg) is in the youth finals.
Sarita lost 0-5 to Kazakhstan's Karina Ibragimova, a decision which the Indian contingent felt did not reflect fairly on the contest.
"It was a controversial decision. Sarita was clearly better but judges did not rule in her favour, even the crowd got behind her after the loss because everyone could see," said one of the coaches travelling with the team.
Lovlina was beaten by Poland's Karolina Koszewska in a split 1-4 verdict, also called 'unfair' by the Indians.
Pooja too was defeated by a local favourite in Agata Kaczmarska, the decision being 2-3. But the team had no issues with that close call.
Earlier, the Indian junior boxers produced a terrific performance to sign off with 13 medals -- six gold, six silver and a bronze.
Bharti (46kg), Tingmila Doungel (48kg), Sandeep Kaur (52kg), Neha (54kg), Arshi Khanam (57kg) and Komal (80kg) claimed top honours in their respective categories.
Amisha Bharti (50kg), Sanya Negi (60kg), Dinesh Naik (63kg), Sanjay Gunele (66kg), Raj Sahiba (70kg) and Lipakshi (+80kg) settled for silver medals.
The sole junior bronze went to Neha (75kg).
Pinki Jangra in final, 5 others in semis of Turkish boxing tournament
Former Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra advanced to the finals, while five other Indian boxers made the semifinals of the Ahmet Comart Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jangra (51kg) defeated former world champion Steluta Duta in the quarterfinals 5-0 before getting the better of Australian Taylah Robertson in the semis to make the summit clash on Friday night.
Advancing to the semifinals were world silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg), Monika (48kg) Meena Kumari (54kg), Simranjit Kaur (64kg) and Bhagyawati Kachari (81kg).
Sonia, also a two-time Asian silver-medallist who lost in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games last month, defeated home favourite Binnaz Ozdemir in a dominating performance that forced the referee to rule in her favour in the second round itself.
Monika, a national bronze-medallist, pulled off a 4-1 triumph over Bulgarian Emi-Mari Todorova, while Meena out-punched another local hope in Tugcenaz Surmeneli.
Simranjit, a former national medallist, scored an impressive 5-0 win over Russia's Alexandra Ordina.
Bhagyawati had it easy against Turk Tugba Oz, who could not take the pounding, prompting the referee to award the bout to the Indian in the second round.
Indian women thrash Hong Kong 6-1 in AFC U-16 Qualifiers
A hat-trick from Lynda Kom ensured the Indian women's team kicked off its campaign in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers in style, breezing past Hong Kong 6-1 in its first match in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
Apart from Lynda's three goals, captain Shilky Devi netted a brace while Sunita Munda scored the other.
The Indian girls who won the SAFF U-15 Championship last month in Bhutan are aiming to qualify into the final phase of the AFC Women's Championship.
They next play Pakistan U-16 in their next match on September 19 and will then play hosts Mongolia U-16 and Laos U-16 in their last group league match respectively. The group toppers gain an automatic qualification into the final phase of the AFC Championship to be held next year.
Head coach Firmin D'Souza sounded ecstatic after the win.
"The girls executed the game plan perfectly. The win acts as a bonus for our morale that has been high since the girls won the SAFF U-15 Championship," he said.
"We are confident ahead of our clash against Pakistan and hope to continue our winning ways," he added.
It was in fact, Sunita who opened the flood gates in the 23rd minute.
In the 35th minute, Shilky Devi India's lead while Lynda made it 3-0 as the India went into the half-time enjoying a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Changing over, the girls continued their attacking momentum and were rewarded with a penalty in the 50th minute which was gleefully converted by Shilky.
In the 73rd minute, Lynda Kom, taking full advantage of Aveka Singh's vicious cross, made it 5-0.
Hong Kong reduced the margin in the 86th minute but it did not deter Lynda from completing her hat-trick in the dying minutes.
Mumbai Marathon gets IAAF gold label
The Tata Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 20, 2019, was accorded the gold label by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The 16th edition of the race became the only gold label marathon in the country and joined the elite list of marathons in Asia, race organisers Procam International announced on Saturday.
The $ 405,000 event is set to witness over 46,000 participants running across six race categories, according to the organisers.
The IAAF gold label is granted to races based on stringent criteria, including organisational excellence, world class elite field representation, prize money for male and female runners, exhaustive medical support system, live television coverage for an enhanced reach of the race, media facilities, timing and qualified personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the event across departments,among others, the