World Championship debutant Manju Rani defeated Thailand’s Raksat Chuthamat in 48 kg semifinal on Saturday in Ulan-Ude, Russia. With the win via 4:1 verdict, the Indian pugilist booked a place in the all-important final which will take place on Sunday.
Rani has atleast assured herself of a silver medal. This will be India’s second medal, with Mary Kom settling for bronze earlier in the day after going down against losing her 51kg semifinal bout against Turkey’s European Champion Busenaz Cakiroglu via a split verdict 1:4.
Earlier, the sixth-seed Rani, who is competing in her first Worlds tournament, had beaten top seed Kim Hyang Mi of North Korea 4-1 to confirm a medal in the tournament.
Speaking after making it to the quarters, she had spoken about making a name in the category which was previously dominated by Mary Kom. “The pressure was there as Mary didi has won so many medals for India in this category. But it was also a motivation to not let her down. I wanted to give everything to win a medal for my country,” she said.
The Haryana girl has quickly made an impact since changing her state and playing for Punjab. She made the switch as she felt she was not getting her due in Haryana. “I was not able to win medals all the while I was playing for Haryana. When I switched to Punjab last year, it turned my fortunes as I started doing well in domestic circuit and got noticed. Last year, I won three international medals and made my world cup debut in a year’s time,” she was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Monday.
Rani’s bout was followed by Jamuna Boro’s 54 kg semifinal bout against top-seed Taiwan’s Hsiao-Wen Huang. Boro failed to get past her towering opponent as she lost the semis with a unanimous 5:0 verdict. In India’s final bout of the day, Lovlina Borgohain will face off against China’s Liu Yang in 69 kg semifinal.
Oct 12, 2019 15:50 IST