Indian women boxers put up sensational performances as they created history at the 2021 AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships and concluded their campaign on a highly successful note with seven gold medals in Kielce, Poland.
All the women finalists in action on Thursday –Gitika (48kg),Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg), Poonam (57kg), Vinka (60kg), Arundhati Choudhary(69kg), T Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) and Alfiya Pathan(+81kg) — registered wins and finished on the top of the podium. Previously, Indian women had won five gold medals during the 2017 edition of the Youth World Championships held in Guwahati. The Indian women’s team also finished as the number one in the championship ahead of Russia with seven gold medals.
Asian Youth Champion Sanamacha, who trains at boxing great MC Mary Kom’s academy in Imphal, added the historic sixth gold for India when she outperformed Kazakhstan’s Dana Diday 5-0 in the 75kg final.
Later, young boxing sensation from Maharashtra Alfiya clinched the seventh gold for the country as she stunned a strong contender European youth champion Moldova’s Daria Kozorez 5-0 in the final.
“This has been an amazing effort from our youth boxers, especially when the players had to be confined at home for most part of the last year and only make do with online training sessions. Our coaches and support staff did a stellar job despite the limitations and challenges. I congratulate all the winners on this unprecedented medal haul. This achievement is a testament of the talent we have in the upcoming generation of Indian boxing,” said Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh while talking about the unprecedented medal haul by India at the championships.
Earlier, Gitika led the country’s dominance and provided a perfect start for the day. The Haryana boxer, who came into the match beating two-time European Champion Italy’s Erika Prisciandaro, knocked down local favourite Natalia Kuczewska 5-0 in the women’s 48kg final and secured the first gold medal for India at the championship.
Asian Youth Champion Babyrojisana (51kg) and Poonam (57kg) further extended India’s winning momentum as the duo secured identical 5-0 victories to add two more gold medals. While Manipur boxer Babyrojisana looked in great touch during her flawless win against European Junior Champion Russian Valeriia Linkova, Poonam also hit the aggressive mode from the word go and dominated her experienced opponent Sthelyne Grosy. With sharp and precise punches, Poonam did not allow her opponent from France to score any point before completing an easy 5-0 triumph in the final bout.
Vinka(60kg) also produced a spectacular show as her punches, packed with a lot of power, were too strong for Kazakhstan boxer Zhuldyz Shayakhmetova. The referee had to stop the contest and declare the Indian boxer as the winner. Rajasthan boxer Arundhati added one more gold for India when she completed a fine 5-0 win against Polish boxer Barbara Marcinkowska in the 69kg final.
A 20-member Indian contingent had already created history by securing 11 medals at the Youth World Championships, bettering their previous best of 10 medals in the 2018 edition. The only Indian man in the final, Sachin (56kg) will be in action on Friday.
Earlier in the men’s category, Bishwamitra Chongthom (49kg), Ankit Narwal (64kg) and Vishal Gupta (91kg) won three bronze medals for the country with the semi-finals finish.
A 10-day biennial event, which had the men’s and women’s championship played together for the first time during the 2018 edition in Hungary, has witnessed high competition in presence of 414 boxers from 52 countries.