Services dominate junior national boxing
Chandigarh : Services emerged as the top team as their men bagged nine gold medals on the concluding day, while Haryanas women topped the chart with five gold medals at the Junior National Boxing Championships here on Tuesday.
Twelve of the Services boxers had reached the final and all but three had to settle for the silver medal. In contrast, the Haryana women, who bagged nine medals, did not bag any silver though they added four bronze medals to boost their overall tally. The Manipur and Punjab women finished behind Haryana.
Among the men boxers, two gold medals went the way of Haryana -- Sumit (70kg) and Vinit (75) -- while one each was won by Uttar Pradesh's Manish Rathore (48) and Chandigarh's Younam Kamboj (80). Haryana's Sumit was adjudged the best boxer of the tournament.
For Services, the winners were Biswaamitra (48kg), S.Victor Singh (50kg), A. Naoba Singh (52kg), Yaithaba (54kg), T.H. Lakhmani (57kg), L. Bilotson Singh (60kg), Ajay Kumar (63kg), Aakash Sai (70kg) and Vishal Gupta (+80kg).
In the women's section, there were some topsy-turvy results as Lipakshi of Rajasthan emerged a surprise winner to claim the gold against Alifa Pathan of Maharashtra in the super heavyweight (+80kg) category. The two international medal winners fought as fiercely as they could but the Maharashtra pugilist lacked a sting in her attack while Lipakshi, who took a silver medal in Poland early this year, made the most of it to win the final on points (5:0).
In the middleweight class, Manipur's Sanamacha Chanu was a clean winner as he defeated Punjab's Kushi 5:0. Both international medallists started their final on a slow note only to raise the tempo towards the second round to preserve stamina.
It was a good ploy to adopt but what went in favour of the Manipuri was her quick feet movement and landing punches on the target areas of her opponent. The Punjab girl, on the other hand, was lacking in attack as she mostly backtracked throughout the final and it marred her chances.
Another Manipur girl, N. Babyroji Sana got lucky when she won her 52 kg final against Punjab's Sandeep Kaur in a split decision. The bout raised the pitch with both international gold medal-winning boxers trading blows to the target areas, the Manipuri in particularly using her lefts to open up the avenues.
Sandeep Kaur, who won gold in Poland, did exceedingly well to come into her own from the second round when she began with a couple of straights and a flurry of punches to the right of her Manipur rival. The third round saw both boxers slowing down but there was no dearth of exchange of punches. Yet, the Punjab girl ended up on the losing side, having to satisfy herself with the silver medal.
But it was Anuj Devi of Karnataka who sent Komal of Punjab packing in the women's 50 kg final. It was a revelation that the technically correct Karnataka lass had the measure of the Punjab pugilist right from the bell and found an early opening to make inroads. With a low guard, Anuj was good attack and defence which endeared her to all the spectators.
Other gold winners included Rajni (46kg), Poonam (54kg), Yashi Sharma (60kg), Vinka (63kg), Mitka Gunele and Raj Shiba (70kg).