India net 4 golds - World boxing - Historic hattrick by Merykom

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By The Telegraph Online in Delhi
  • Published 24.11.06
Gold medal-winning Indian quartet K.C. Lekha, R.L. Jenny, M.C. Merykom and Sarita Devi (left to right) make a happy picture on the concluding day of the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Delhi on Thursday. (AFP)

New Delhi: M.C. Merykom on Thursday became the toast of the nation by completing a hattrick of world titles and helping India lift the team trophy with four gold medals at the 4th World Women’s Boxing Championships.

Merykom became the first woman boxer to win the world titles three years in a row after the championships were introduced in 2001.

Merykom outpunched European champion Steluta Duta of Romania in the 46kg on points (22:7) and celebrated her triumph with a demonstration of Manipuri folk dance in the ring.

The diminutive pugilist first deceived Duta by letting her open the account being 0-1 down just after taking on the mat but she put the Romanian on the defensive thereafter in the gripping bout.

“I am very happy. I have no words to explain. I had defeated Duta in the recent Venus Cup final, so I really had no problem at all,” said Merykom.

L Sarita Devi (52 kg), Jenny R.L. (63 kg) and Lekha K.C. (75 kg) won the titles in their respective categories while Negisatty Usha (57 kg) had to be content with silver at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.

Sarita broke the jinx of losing in the final to claim her first world title in 48kg. The 24-year-old Manipuri defeated Europian championship silver medallist Viktoria Rudenko of Ukraine 24-16. in the 52 kg class.

“I had only one thing in my mind that I should not let my country down, especially when the championship is being hosted in India. I wanted to do India proud otherwise people would have though women boxers are no good,” an emotional Sarita said.

Chhotu Laura (50 kg), Aruna Mishra (66 kg) and Renu (80kg) finished as bronze medallists for the hosts.

Russia, last year’s champions, finished second with three gold and three silver medals, followed by North Korea. Canada, the runners-up in the 2005 edition, were fourth.

Mizoram’s Jenny, fighting in her third world meet, could not stop her tears as she bagged her first gold by thrashing Klara Svensson of Sweden. Jenny revealed that Mizoram Chief Minister called her up immediately after the win and informed her that she had been promoted to DSP in the state police. (PTI)