Simranjit Kaur Baatth clinched silver after losing her final bout in the women’s lightweight (57-60kg) division at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.
Smart tactics and swift movement gave Yeonji Oh the win in what was the final bout featuring an Indian at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers.
As many as nine Indian boxers have qualified for the 2020 Olympics over the past week and the four pugilists who failed to qualify may get another opportunity to do so at the world qualifiers in Paris in May, if chosen to represent their country by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).
"It is a moment of pride for Indian Boxing. For the first time ever, nine Indian Pugilists have qualified for the Olympics and that too at the first qualifying event,” BFI President Mr Ajay Singh said.
“We still have the World Qualifiers in May and I am confident that India will qualify in all 13 categories,” he added.
Simranjit Kaur suffers final heartbreak
Indian lightweight Simranjit Kaur began the bout against South Korea’s Yeonji Oh brightly by making good use of her reach to land several poking jabs.
Yeonji Oh, though, assumed control of the bout as the round progressed and she got a foothold of proceedings.
The South Korean pugilist started using her jab effectively and was finding better connections than Kaur.
The Indian boxer tried to retaliate with powerful straight punches while coming forward but Yeonji Oh managed to dodge them and then land crisp left jabs before connecting with a cuffing right towards the end of the round to win it 3-2.
Yeonji Oh nips and tucks away at Simranjit Kaur
Simranjit Kaur came out with more intent and purpose in the second round and delivered a clunking right followed by a left hook.
However, Yeonji Oh continued to keep faith with her jabs and chipped away at Simranjit Kaur, who was struggling to find her rhythm.
Yeonji Oh’s ability to counter the advancing Simranjit Kaur with punches and then sway away before being caught by her opponent’s punches was proving to be problematic for the Indian.
Kaur did find some success in the later stages of the round but the left jab and a couple of one-two combos meant that the South Korean won the second round 5-0.
The final round saw a desperate Kaur looking for a stoppage. However, Yeonji Oh’s strategy that had worked so well the entire fight continued to be a difficult puzzle for the Indian to solve.
Despite Simranjit Kaur’s best efforts, the South Korean controlled the last round with her smart movement and tactics to win the fight by unanimous decision.