Aruna punches away to 4th gold

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By JAYESH THAKER
  • Published 4.09.11
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Jamshedpur, Sept. 3: It is four on a trot for city pugilist Aruna Mishra and the last one might be the sweetest if not the fastest gold that she has ever slotted in her career.

The 32-year-old toughie with winning fisticuffs added another victim to her list today as she knocked out her Australian opponent Liesa in 75 seconds flat in the World Police and Fire Games that is underway in New York.

The boxer, a Jharkhand police inspector and a former Asian champion, called up her family soon after making her maiden appearance in the big-ticket event and slotting home the yellow metal.

“A powerful upper cut to the ribs was all it took to floor her Australian opponent in the first round. The bout was over in little more than 75 seconds,” husband Shishir Kumar Jha told The Telegraph.

A chartered accountant by profession, Jha added that an excited Aruna rang up the family and was in a hurry to get back and meet her daughter.

“We are extremely proud of her achievements, which came against all odds. She sounded happy and was craving to meet our three-year-old daughter Meenakshi. We have planned a grand reception on her return to Jamshedpur on September 9,” Jha said.

Aruna's sister Taruna, who is also a national-level boxer, said she offered sweets to the almighty after the good news trickled in. “My sister was very excited when she spoke to me this morning,” Taruna, who is also with Jharkhand Police, added.

Mishra’s coach Ernest Lakra, however, put the onus of her achievements on the boxer’s hard work.

“Aruna is a gutsy boxer who revels and flourishes in difficult situations. I was confident that would bag the gold in the New York police meet,” Lakra said.

However, not everything was fine when Mishra headed into the games if husband Jha is to be believed.

“She received an injury during a preparatory camp in New Delhi last month. She received a blow to her right eye during practise, which resulted in a swelling. She was also not able to speak properly for some time,” Jha recounted.

He added that Mishra carried the injury to the New York games meet despite repeated requests from him to drop out.

“I was worried about her injury but she refused to pull out and said that she was confident of claiming the medal,” Jha said.

The pugilist’s golden run started in the 34th National Games where she out-punched rivals in front of a supportive home crowd at JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur in February.

She then went on to bag the yellow metal for the state at the All India Police Boxing Meet in March. Later in the same month, she claimed top slot in the second inter-zonal National Boxing Championship at Guntur (Andhra Pradesh).