History will follow India’s MC Mary Kom with every step from here on. It’s just a matter of knowing which colour of medal the country’s most decorated boxer will take home.
Earlier tied with Cuba's Felix Savon with seven medals at the event, a place in the semi-finals of the ongoing edition of the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Russia has guaranteed her an unprecedented eighth medal, which makes her the most successful boxer ever at the Worlds.
Mary Kom’s next step
The Indian’s quest of winning her first gold in the flyweight (51kg) category, the lightest for women pugilists at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, starts against second-seeded Buse naz Cakiroglu of Turkey on October 12.
Cakiroglu, an imposing flyweight, has enjoyed a splendid run of form this year and is the reigning European Champion and European Games gold medallist. She made her way into the semi-finals by defeating China's Zongju Cai in a closely fought contest.
If the 36-year-old manages to get past the Turkish boxer, she will square off against the winner between North Korea’s Pang Chol-mi - the last edition’s silver medalist - and Russia’s Liliya Aetbaeva for the ultimate prize.
Can Boro bring home gold?
Debutant Jamuna Boro has been a revelation for India at the 2019 World Championships. Starting with a fine 5-0 win over Mongolia’s Michidmaa Erdenedalai, the 22-year-old has gone on to win the rest of her bouts with a similar margin, barring the quarter-final encounter.
Up next for Boro is a promising 22-year-old boxer in Huang Hsiao Wen of Chinese Taipei, who happens to be a silver medallist from the last edition of the ASBC Asian Women’s Boxing Championships.
Like Boro, Huang has been using her towering frame to control the momentum and registered her place in the round by defeating Philippines’ Aira Villegas in the quarter-finals.
Rani's dream run
19-year-old Manju Rani has been an absolute delight so far. A resilient presence in the ring, her agility has often caught her opponents off guard. She showed all her ability when she defeated the top-seed and last edition’s bronze medallist Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea in the quarter-finals.
Thailand’s experienced campaigner Chuthamat Raksat now awaits the Indian in the semi-finals.
A bronze medallist from the Jeju 2014 AINA Women’s World Boxing Championships, the Thai pugilist defeated Bulgaria’s Yuliyanova Sevda Asenova in the previous round.
Lovlina Borgohain, who has been a consistent presence in the boxing circuit for India for a couple of years now, is looking to add another medal to her Worlds tally. Having won a bronze at the 2018 edition, the welterweight got the better of Poland’s Karolina Koszewska, a world champion kickboxer and the European Games gold medallist.
Borgohain will be put on test on October 12 when she takes on China’s Yang Liu, who defeated top seed Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-final.
Taking to the ring for the last-four encounters, the Indians will also be in line to replicate the country’s gold medal tally from the 2006 edition, where the likes of Mary Kom (48kg), Sarita Devi (52kg), Jenny RL (66kg) and Lekha KC (75kg) reached the top step of the podium.
Where can I watch?
All four Indians will take to the ring on Saturday, October 12 and the bouts will be live-streamed on AIBA’s official YouTube channel. Coverage begins 10:30 AM IST onwards.