The Bhopal crowd turned up in big numbers at the Tatya Tope Stadium to witness the five times World Champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) display her mastery in the craft at the 12th Senior Women?s Nationals and they were not disappointed. The 28 year old opened her campaign at the championship with a thumping victory in her first round bout. Representing her home state of Manipur, she enthralled the audience with her attacking style of play, drubbing Shabana from Delhi. The 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist was leading throughout the fight, never giving the Delhi girl a fleeting chance. She went on to secure her place in the quarter-finals of the fly weight category with a 22-6 triumph on points. Mary, the current world champion in the 41kg category has moved to the 51kg group owing to her preparation for the 2012 Olympics, as only three weight divisions of the sport (51kg, 60kg and 75kg) are included for the London games. The quarters on Thursday (13th October) will see her lock horns with P. Nirosha of Andhra Pradesh, who beat Kavita Gaund of UP 21:6 to secure her QF spot.
Meanwhile Mary?s Manipur comrade, L Sarita Devi (51kg) who is playing for the All India Police team at the event, also made a place in the last eight of the fly weight division. The 29 year old packed some powerful punches against Daljeet Kaur of Punjab, who was completely at bay against the former World Champion. Sarita, the reigning national champion went on to beat Daljeet with a huge margin of 27 points (30:3). In the next round she will go up against reigning national champion for the last two year in the light fly weight division (48kg) Vanlal Duati who is now competing in 51kg. Duati who bagged the gold medal at the 2011 National Games, steam rolled Pooja Verma of Uttarakhand into submission to set up the clash. She was leading 21 to nil when the referee decided to stop the fight.
2010 Arafura Games gold medallist Pinki Jangra of Haryana also cemented her place in the quarters with a win over Meena Kumari of the IABF team. Pinki who was awarded the ?Best Boxer? title at the Arafura Games, shot into prominence in the domestic circuit after defeating Mary Kom in the quarterfinal of the 2009 Senior Nationals, and earlier this year she pulled the rug from under Sarita Devi's feet at the National Games in Jamshedpur. The 21 year old, who has been tagged as a giant killer, has been in exceptional form this year and might once again prove a difficult opponent for the more experienced boxers. She takes on local girl Nirmala Kohli in the next round.
Also from Madhya Pradesh, silver medallist at the National Games Krishna Thapa outclassed Luxmi Rana of Chandigarh to advance to the round of eight. The 2009 gold medal winner at the Senior Nationals was 12:3 when the fight was stopped. Her next fight is with Rebecca Lalinmawii of Mizoram. Youth World and National Champion Sarjubala Devi of Manipur continued her winning spree as she beat Sanasri Brahma of Assam, a quarter-finalist at the Youth World Championships, in a one-sided affair. The 18 year old champion won 28:12 to make way into the quarters, where she will meet A Punyavati of Andhra who doused Ruksar Bano of UP. The fly weight division also witness an upset in the form of Monita Devi of Arunachal Pradesh. The silver medal winner from last year went down against Mamta from Haryana. Monita was out of sorts against the Haryana girl, who took complete advantage as she overpowered the National Games bronze medal winner into a 17:9 defeat.
Pwilao Basumatary, bronze medallist at the Women?s Youth World Championship earlier this year, made her place in the last eight of the feather weight division, defeating Meenakshi of Bihar. She now faced Rinki Singh of Andhra Pradesh in the quarter-finals.