- India won 12 out of 18 gold medals at the Indian Open Boxing
- MC Mary Kom and L. Sarita Devi won gold medals in their respective categories
- India's boxing stars Amit Panghal and Shiva Thapa also grabbed gold
Indian boxers dominated the recently concluded Indian Open Boxing tournament, winning 12 out of possible 18 gold medals, led by veterans MC Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi. Shiva Thapa was named the best male boxer of the competition and Italy’s Francesca Amato was the best female boxer.
India doubled the tally from the first edition of the tournament when they won 6 medals last year. The 37-year old Sarita Devi’s win was the most emotional, as she paid respect to her late mother immediately after winning the bout. In the final of the 60kg category, Sarita beat Simranjit Kaur 3-2 in the closely fought battle. It was Sarita’s first gold medal since South Asian Games 2016.
“This gold belongs to my mother. I lost my dad early and my mother made me the boxer that I’m now. This gold has come after a long time. I’m missing her very much at this moment,” she said.
Mary Kom also had to work hard against Mizoram’s Vanlal Duati, where the Olympic Bronze medallist won by unanimous decision. This was Mary Kom’s second gold medal in the 51kg category when she defeated the former national champion.
A stellar show from the Indian ??boxers as they end #IndiaOpenBoxing 2019 with a rich haul of 5️⃣7️⃣medals. Incredible performance guys! ??
— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) May 24, 2019
Panghal and Thapa – Olympic medal in sight?
In men’s 52kg category, Amit Panghal won 4-1 against Sachin Siwach in the final to grab the gold. Panghal is much shorter than Sachin but managed to land some exceptional punches by staying away from his opponent and with swift footwork. “Sachin is the tallest boxer I have ever faced. Staying away helped me,” said Amit Panghal.
India’s one of the best boxers right now and country’s medal hope in Tokyo 2020, Shiva Thapa secured a gold medal in the 60kg category. Shiva won 5-0 against Manish Kaushik in the final and also went home with the tag of the best male wrestler of the competition.
Along with Shiva Thapa, Amit Panghal is also expected to shine at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. After two consecutive bronze medals in boxing in 2008 and 2012 Olympics, India had to come back empty-handed from Rio 2016. But the new and upcoming superstars will look to change that next year.