MC Mary Kom and Sakshi, Monica reached the finals of Asian Championships, had to settle for bronze

Six-time world champions MC Mary Kom (51 kg) and Sakshi (54 kg) clinched their place in the finals of the Boxing Asian Championships with a hard-fought semi-final clash here on Thursday. Mary Kom defeated Lutsseikhan Altantesetseg in the semi-finals, while Sakshi defeated Dina Joleman to earn her final ticket. Monica (48 kg) suffered a defeat at the hands of Alua Balkibekova.

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Mary Kom defeated Mongolia’s Lutsseikhan Altantesetseg 4-1 in a split decision, while two-time World Youth Champion Sakshi defeated Kazakhstan’s top seed Dina Zoleman 3-2. Monica had to settle for the bronze medal with a 0–5 defeat against Kazakhstan’s second seed Alua Balkibekova in a one-sided match. Top seed Mary Kom, 38, took full advantage of her experience to dominate against Altantesetseg. Marikom’s right-handed box was quite effective during the match. Mary Kom is eyeing the sixth gold medal in this continental competition. In the final, Marikom will face two-time world champion Nazim Kaizbi of Kazakhstan.

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Sakshi had to contend against Jholeman but the Indian player finally managed to register a victory while remaining patient. Earlier, Monica could not respond to second seed Balkibekova’s pace. Balkibekova easily thwarted Monica’s attacks and her flailing punches overtook the Indian player. Ashish Kumar (75kg), who qualified for the Olympics, also suffered a 2-3 defeat against Asian Games silver medalist Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan on Wednesday night. Narender (+91 kg) also suffered a 0–5 defeat against Kamashibek Kunkabayev of Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals. On Friday, five Indian male boxers Amit Panghal (52 kg), Varinder Singh (60 kg), Shiva Thapa (64 kg), Vikas Krishna (69 kg) and Sanjeet (91 kg) will enter the semi-finals. Of these, Panghal and Vikas have made it to the Olympics. India has confirmed 15 medals in the tournament, its best performance ever in this continental tournament.

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