5 out of 5: Gold rush for India at Women’s Youth World ChampionshipsNovember 26, 2017
Haryana shone as it rained gold for India at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championship here on Sunday.
Four boxers from Haryana – Nitu in light flyweight (45-48 kg), Jyoti in flyweight (51 kg), Sakshi in bantamweight (54 kg) and Shashi Chopra in featherweight (57 kg) – won gold in the first four final bouts. Assam’s Ankushita Boro added the fifth in welterweight (64 kg) category.
Two other Indians – Anupama in light heavyweight (81 kg) and Neha Yadav in heavyweight (+81 kg) –won bronze.
Of the 36 other nations that participated, Russia was the next best team with two gold medals —Anastasia Shamonova in middleweight (75 kg) and Kristina Tkacheva in heavyweight.
The first to get India a gold medal was Haryana’s Nitu in the light flyweight (45-48 kg). Her jabs and straights proved too much for her fancied Kazakh rival Zhazira Urakbayeva. She won by a 5:0 verdict.
While Zhazira settled for silver, China’s Yuan Nie and Ireland’s Caitlin Fryers took home bronze.
“The semifinal bout was easier than the final,” Nitu said later.
Haryana’s Jyoti Gulia was equally ruthless against her taller Russian rival Ekaterina Molchanova. “She had a better reach but I was faster on the feet,” said Jyoti, whose performance earned her a berth in the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Kazakhstan’s Zhansaya Abdraimova, whom Jyoti had defeated in the semifinal, got the bronze along with Japan’s Rinka Kinoshita.
Unlike her state-mates in the lighter weight categories, Haryana’s Sakshi had a tough time in the ring against England’s Ivy-Jane Smith in their bantamweight (54kg) bout. But she managed to land a flurry of straights in the final round to win gold.
Japan’s Sena Irie, whom Sakshi beat in the semi-final, got the bronze along with USA’s Isamary Acquino.
The gold rush for India continued in the featherweight (57 kg) final between Shashi Chopra and Vietnam’s Hong Ngoc Do.
Shashi was a slow starter, letting the Vietnamese get through her defence, but she came back strongly to win by a 4:1 verdict. The bronze in the featherweight category went to China’s Cailling Hu and Mongolia’s Namuun Mongkhon.
The fifth gold for India came in the last bout as Ankushita overwhelmed Russia’s Ekaterina Dynnik with a jab-hook-straight combination. Thailand’s Thanchanok Saksri and Ireland’s Katelynn Phelan won bronze.
“Our girls have lived up to expectations, but their journey gets tougher from here,” India’s head coach Bhaskar Bhatt said.
Ajay Singh, president of the Boxing Federation of India, later announced R2-lakh each for the gold medal winners.
This is India’s best performance in the AIBA women’s youth event after 2011 when Sarjubala Devi of Manipur had won the lone gold medal.