Manju en­ters quar­ters

Star Boxer Mary Kom Will Be­gin Cam­paign Against Thai Op­po­nent To­day

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Ulan-Ude (Rus­sia): In­dia’s Manju Rani (48kg) on Mon­day ad­vanced to the quar­ter­fi­nals of the World Women’s Box­ing Cham­pi­onships af­ter a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory in the last-16 stage here.

The sixth-seeded In­dian pre­vailed 5-0 over Venezuela’s Ro­jas Tay­o­nis Ce­deno to stand just one win away from se­cur­ing a medal in her de­but at the big event.

How­ever, next up for her is a tough one in last edi­tion’s bronze-medal­list and top seed Kim Hyang Mi of South Korea. The two will clash on Oc­to­ber 10. Clean punches were few and far in Rani’s clash against Ce­deno but the In­dian was the one fetch­ing most of them. Both the box­ers stuck to a de­fen­sive ap­proach but Rani was the more ac­cu­rate of the two.

Rani is a sil­ver-medal­list from the pres­ti­gious Strandja Memo­rial box­ing tour­na­ment in Bul­garia ear­lier this year.

In the se­cond and last In­dian bout of the day, Manju Bam­boriya (64kg) was up against fourth-seeded Ital­ian An­gela Carini. She put up a spir­ited fight but the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships sil­ver-medal­list was just too strong for her. The In­dian went down 1-4 in a split de­ci­sion.

On Tues­day, six-time cham­pion MC Mary Kom (51kg) will be­gin her cam­paign by tak­ing on Thai­land’s Ju­ta­mas Jit­pong in the round of 16. The third-seeded In­dian got a bye in the open­ing round.

In the 75kg divi­sion, for­mer sil­ver-medal­list Saweety Boora (75kg) will square off against se­cond-seeded Welsh­woman Lau­ren Price. Price is a Euro­pean Games gold-medal­list and fetched a bronze in the last edi­tion of the world show­piece. She is also the reign­ing Com­mon­wealth Games cham­pion.

An ath­lete-turned­whistle­blower pre­vi­ously coached by banned coach Al­berto Salazar has called for his Nike Ore­gon Project (NOP) to be closed down. Salazar was last week banned for four years, in the mid­dle of the World Cham­pi­onships, fol­low­ing a four-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the US An­ti­Dop­ing Agency (USADA). Ath­letes from his group won three gold medals in Doha.

US run­ner Kara Goucher, who was coached by Salazar from 2004 to 2011 and pro­vided key ev­i­dence in the case against him, told the BBC on Sun­day she wants the NOP to be shut down. “It (NOP) has to go,” Goucher said. “I feel re­ally bad for the ath­letes be­cause I’m sure many of them are in­no­cent” she said. “If I was Nike I’d be bring­ing in some new coaches and move on from this Ore­gon Project.”

Salazar, who guided Mo Farah from 2011 un­til 2017, says he has done noth­ing wrong and will ap­peal the ban. Nike has said it will sup­port Salazar.

QUEEN OF THE DAY: Manju Rani (left) lands a punch on Venezuela’s Ro­jas Tay­o­nis Ce­deno

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