Manju Rani, India’s last remaining boxer at the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Russia, had to settle for a silver as she lost the final of the light flyweight category (48kg).
Local star Ekaterina Paltceva’s proved too strong for the Indian in a closely contested final bout.
Quick off the blocks
High on confidence after a strong showing in the semi-finals, Rani started the bout on the front foot, trying to attack right from the opening bell.
But Paltceva's defence proved to be resolute, the Russian weaving out of harm's way and then launching her own assault.
Midway through the first round, Paltceva rocked Rani with a series of clubbing left hooks that had the Indian in trouble.
Rani, who became the first female Indian debutant to reach a Worlds final, valiantly ploughed on and had more joy towards the end of the second, where she worked well behind her jab.
However, overall it was the Russian whose punches had the superior edge.
Paltceva once again found her range with a beautiful combination with 1:19 remaining in the final round, catching Rani totally open with a straight left.
The judges ruled 4-1 in favour of Paltceva, scoring the bout 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Rani fought brilliantly in her debut final but narrowly ended up as second best.
With Manju Rani’s bout putting an end to the Indian women’s boxing campaign in Ulan-Ude, the pugilists will return home to train and prepare for the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in the first week of February 2020.