Indian women boxers shine

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Indian women pugilists are in line to win as many as five gold medals at the Fourth Women's World Boxing Championship in New Delhi.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian women pugilists are all set to hog the limelight at the Fourth Women's World Boxing Championship in New Delhi. As many as five of them are in line to win gold medals. India's lone current world champions M C Marykom could also win her third successive world title. And she is not alone. L Sarita Devi too represents the new generation of Indian women boxers who have put their sport firmly in the spotlight. "We have received a lot of support during this competition, playing in front of our home-crowd. Our parents, friends and family have all been here to support us. We've forgotten just about everything else - home, family and friends and practised for these championships in the right earnest," said Sarita Devi. The Manipuri pugilist, who beat Samiha Ali Hassan of Egypt, and her team-mates have ensured that budding boxers have another role model after Marykom. Col P K M Raja, General secretary, Indian Amateur Boxing Federation said, "They have been going abroad quite often, and having training competitions with various teams. Number two, the monetary awards that the government has been giving them. "Number three, the confidence-levels of the individual boxers have come up. And the fourth thing is that after the Athens Olympics, we have changed our style of boxing." Good run The Indian boxers have enjoyed a phenomenal run at these World Championships. Eight of the 13 who have taken part are assured of a medal, while five can go on and win the gold. It has been a dramatic turnaround for them, considering they managed just one gold at each of the last two world championships. "Three weeks back we won the prestigious 16-nation tourney in Denmark. So exposure, and with it the ring-craft, ring-sense, technique and tactics, strength in punches etc all have improved day-by-day," said Anup Kumar, Coach, Indian Women's Boxing Team. And the good news for them is that a cash prize of one, two or three lakh awaits for those who manage to win a bronze, silver or gold medal respectively.

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