Bridgetown :M C Mary Kom (48kg) remained firmly on course for a historic fifth successive gold by advancing to the semifinals along with Kavita (+81kg) to assure India of two medals in the sixth Women's World Championships.
Mary Kom beat Lynsey Holdaway from Wales 9-2 in the quarter-final to set up a clash with Alice Appari of the Philippines, whom she had beaten in their only face off six years ago.
The mother-of-two from Manipur took a narrow 2-1 lead in the opening round and built on it in the next two rounds to be 6-2 ahead by the third round. In the final round, Mary Kom launched an all-out attack to seal the issue in her favour.
"It was not all that tough for me. I had never faced her before but didn't have to slog too much. So far so good," the 27-year-old said after the bout.
"Despite the increased competition, I think I can still dominate my category. I am not bragging but it hasn't been very tough for me despite the fact that I have already played three rounds. My body is also feeling great," she said.
Talking about her next-round opponent, Mary Kom, who was conferred the Khel Ratna award last year, said, "I know this girl. I beat her in 2004 and hopefully even this time I would win. I will try my best. I have my fingers crossed for a fifth consecutive gold."
Dubbed 'Magnificent Mary' by the International Boxing Association, the Indian has the unique feat of having won a medal in each of the previous World Championships. She was silver-medallist in the inaugural edition and has not settled for anything less then a gold after that.
Among other Indians, Kavita too advanced to the semifinals by beating Adriana Hosu of Romania 9-6. She will face Kateryna Kuzhel of the Ukraine in the last-four stage tomorrow.
But there was disappointment as well, with Laxmi Padiya (81kg) losing 4-18 to Kazakh Marina Volnova on Wednesday night.
The current edition of the World Championship features 72 countries. The increased competition has hit 2006 overall champions India rather hard with just two medals assured this time.