GUWAHATI, May 24
L Sarita Devi's eyes welled up in tears as she looked up at the heavens to pay respect to her late mother within seconds of beating Simranjit Kaur for the women's 60kg gold medal in the India Open international boxing tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
It was an emotional moment for the 37-year-old former World champion and multiple Asian champion, who won her maiden gold medal in the event and the first since her South Asian Games title in 2016.
The final was not an easy affair for Sarita as Simranjit, a current World championships bronze medallist (in 64kg), was 14 years younger and was in her peak.
However, Sarita used her experience to move around well, unleash her precise left-right combinations and avoid Simranjit's power-packed counters to register a 3-2 win.
“My mother, who was suffering from cancer, watched my World championships (in Delhi in November) bouts on TV from her hospital bed. After my loss in the quarterfinals, she died within two-three days. I owe everything to her,” said Sarita.
Multiple World champion MC Mary Kom beat former National champion Vanlal Duati 5-0 in 51kg to earn her second gold.
Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal asserted his class to get the better of a promising Sachin Siwach in the 52kg final with a 4-1 verdict.
Panghal, much shorter than Siwach, maintained a big gap between him and his opponent. He employed his agile foot work and covered the distance to spectacularly land his punches.
A former World youth champion, Siwach, who had earlier beaten a Worlds medallist and a Commonwealth Games winner, displayed his solid counter-punching before accepting defeat. “Sachin is the tallest boxer I have ever faced. Staying away helped me,” said Panghal, remembering his identical win over Siwach in the Asian championships trials.
Local favouortie Shiva Thapa gave an explosive performance to beat defending champion Manish Kaushik 5-0 in the 60kg final to secure his maiden gold. Sportstarlive