Mary Kom in final, Vikas Krishan in semis of Strandja Memorial boxing

New Delhi: M.C. Mary Kom (48kg) turned on the style as she advanced to the finals, while Vikas Krishan and two other male boxers entered the semifinals on a reasonably good day for India at the 69th Strandja Memorial Tournament, on February 23.
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medalist Mary Kom, targeting her third successive international gold medal, quite literally toyed with China’s Ye Jiali to make the summit clash.
In the men’s draw, former Asian Games gold-medalist Vikas Krishan (75kg), Asian Games bronze medalist Satish Kumar (+91kg) and the unheralded Gaurav Solanki (52kg) advanced to the semi-finals to assure themselves of medals.
While Gaurav pummeled Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev, Vikas edged past Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a split verdict to make the last-four stage.
It was a significant victory for Vikas, who is returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, which forced him out of the national championships as well as the India Open last month.
In the evening session, Satish hardly broke a sweat against Iran’s Iman Ramezanpoudelavar in his quarterfinal victory.
Their victories took the total number of male boxers in the semi-finals to five.
Earlier, India Open gold-medalist Amit Panghal (49kg) also made the semi-final stage along with last edition’s silver-medalist Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg).
Bowing out today in the quarterfinal stage was Manish Panwar (81kg), losing to Russia’s Ilyas Mutaev in a unanimous verdict.
India are now assured of 10 medals in the tournament, five of them courtesy women boxers — Mary Kom, L Sarita Devi (60kg), Seema Punia (+81kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Mena Kumari Devi (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg).
Seema and Bhagyabati got byes into the medal rounds.

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