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There are a few surprises that have been thrown into the JSW Sports presents third Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships, taking place at the Inspire Institute of Sport here yesterday, as S. Kalaivani of Tamil Nadu and Nikhat Zareen of Telangana entered the finals in their respective weight categories, making the event worth a while. And for their victims—Haryana’s Sanju in 48 kg and Vanlai Duati of All India Police—touted to reach the finals before the championships began, will have to now settle for the bronze medals as Tamil Nadu and Telangana girls will fight for the top-podium finish. Meanwhile, when the six-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom arrived at the hall—she is the chief guest at the medal ceremony function today—the din raised in the room indicated the iconic status the 6th time world champion boxer has achieved. In fact, it egged on the boxers to go all out against their opponents as well. Railways Sonia Lather, too, entered the final beating Sandhyarani Devi of AIP 4:1, another blow for the policewomen, while Shashi Chopra of Haryana downed Manipur’s KH Shamim Banu 5:0 to clash in the 57kg class final today. This clash should be really interesting because one is a world champion medallist and the other a world youth championships medal winner. Earlier, Haryana’s Pinki Rani Jangra had little difficult in putting it across her Railways rival, Meenakshi, winning the semifinal bout 5:0 and looks the favourite for the title against Nikhat Zareen. With 20 bouts scheduled for the day, the best bout in light fly class with Kalavani taking on Haryana’s Sanju took place early. The Haryana girl, with an open guard, invited the opponent to charge at her. And Kalavani did precisely that and landed quite a few combinations of blows, hitting the target areas. This aroused enthusiasm all around as some of her fans rooted for her, and she relentlessly continued to exploit the openings to pound the Haryana girl who by then had assessed the situation well and traded some effective lefts and uppercuts to take the sting out of her rival’s punches. But in the third round both boxers, visibly tired, exchanged a few blows and missed a few as the time ran out and the red corner girl was declared the winner with a split decision 3:2, a big relief for the Tamil Nadu girl while it was a big disappointment for the Haryana pugilist. For Nikhat, it became too easy as the Telangana boxer was superior to her AIP opponent as she had sent down combination punches in a measured way to make full impression. Though she slowed down a bit in the second and third, she had the measure of Vanlai Dauti which helped the former move into the final. As for Sonia Lather, with world championships silver medal winner kept her date with destiny and punched her way to the final against Sadhyarani. The AIP girl, particularly in the second and third rounds, did make good attempts and landed a few blows to Sonia but Railway's girl was very easily evaded her and in the end the 4:1 decision seemed perfect with the trend of the bout. But she will be wary of her opponent today in the final where she takes on the World Youth gold medalist, Shashi Chopra from Haryana, and the bout should keep the spectators fully engaged. And yesterday, Shashi had no problem against the Manipuri rival and went through the motions to win on points. For the experienced boxers, Pinki Rani easily defeated Railways’ Meenakshi on points, Simranjit Kaur defeated Basanti Chanu of AIP, RSC R3 while Assam’s Lovlina defeated Meemthoi Devi of All India Police 5-0 on points as it was instead business as usual for the boxers.