Hosts India received an early shot in the arm when two of their boxers got direct entry into the semifinals of the 4th edition of the AIBA World Women’s Youth and Junior Boxing Championships.
Boxers Neha Yadav (+81) and Anupama in the 81 kg category drew a bye in the pick of lots getting a direct entry into the semifinals. The championships start at the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
Hot favourite in the 51kg category, Heaven Garcia of the USA too got a first round bye and so did Sahin Sueda of Turkey who got a direct semifinal entry into the +81 category. Indian boxers, Jyoti and Nitu also got first round byes.
Hot favourites in the 71kg category, Russia’s Shamonova and Ukraine’s Makhno Karolina had a mixed bag of luck. While Shamonova drew a tough opponent in USA’s Moreu Sharahya, Makhno should get past Polish girl Marczykowska Natalia.
“It is this generation of youth women that will blossom and bring women’s boxing on par with men after pioneer boxers like Mary Kom have worked hard to take women’s boxing to a very high level,” said AIBA vice president Mark Tanner at the post draw press conference.
“Some from this tournament will qualify for the Youth Olympics. IOC and AIBA will work together to see women’s boxing on par with men’s boxing,” he said.
Mary Kom, who also spoke on the occasion, thanked AIBA for agreeing to give India the opportunity to host the World women’s championship and BFI too, for bringing the World Championship back to India after a very long time.
“I am eagerly waiting for the action to start tomorrow and wish the boxers of all the countries the very best. An Olympic medal continues to motivate me and I will continue to chase that dream,” said the star boxer from Manipur.