India asserted their dominance in the recently concluded Indian Open Boxing Tournament held in Guwahati by winning 12 gold medals out of the possible 18. Some notable names and Olympic medal prospects who punched their way to glory were Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa, Amit Panghal, and Sarita Devi.
The Indian Open Boxing Tournament was marred in controversy even before its inception as only 13 out of the 18 countries, who accepted the invitation, turned out. As a result, India were assured of 14 medals even before the competition began!
Mary Kom won the gold medal in the women’s 51kg event after thrashing Vanlal Duati 5-0 in the finals. It wasn’t an easy route for Sarita Devi as she had to use all of her experience to pip India’s bronze-medalist in the 60kg event of the Women’s World Championships, Simranjit Kaur, 3-2.
The Manipuri boxer dedicated the gold medal to her mother who passed away a couple of days after her quarter-final loss at the World Championships.
“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.”
Shiva Thapa won the gold medal in the men’s 60kg final and was even awarded the best male boxer of the tournament for his explosive performance. Italy’s Francesca Amato took the same honors in the women’s section of the Indian Open Boxing Tournament.
Amit Panghal, who won the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games in the men’s 52kg category, continued his string of impressive performances as he outmaneuvered a tall Sachin.
Other Indians who bagged the gold medal were Deepak (49kg), Ashish (69kg), Manish Pawar (81kg), Naman Tanwar (91kg), and Satish Kumar (91+kg).
In the women’s events, local favorite Jamuna Boro (54kg), Neeraj (57kg), and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg) clinched gold medals for India in their respective events.