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Indian women's boxing fans have a ‘lot to look forward to’ as the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) gears up to conduct the selection trials of the senior women’s team for the forthcoming 2019 AIBA World Championships that will be held at Ulan-Ude, Russia from October 3 to 13. The BFI will conduct the trials at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi from August 6 to 8.
No Olympic quotas at stakeIt may be worth mentioning that the 2019 AIBA World Championships, unlike earlier editions, won’t have any Olympic quotas up for grabs as the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for indulging in various wrongdoings. As is the usual norm on the world stage, the 2019 AIBA World Championships will feature ten weight categories – 45-48-kg, 51-kg, 54-kg, 57-kg, 60-kg, 64-kg, 69-kg, 75-kg, 81-kg and 81+kg. However, it is interesting to point out that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will feature only five weight categories in women’s boxing – 51-kg, 57-kg, 60-kg, 69-kg and 75-kg. Women’s boxing has got a lift with the inclusion of two more weight categories from the three women pugilists fought for at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Surely, the 2019 AIBA World Championships will attach plenty of significance for our women boxers despite the event not being an Olympic quota event. Boxers performing well in Olympic weight categories - 51-kg, 57-kg, 60-kg, 69-kg and 75-kg will enjoy a headstart in the Olympic qualifiers to be held early next year. Mary Kom
MC Mary Kom up for a big challengeThe August 6 to 8 selection trials is expected to throw up a lot of excitement. The 45-48-kg category should witness a good fight between 2019 India Open gold-medallist Monica and 2019 Thailand Open bronze medallist Monica Devi. But the cynosure of all attention will be the 51-kg category, where six-time World Champion MC Mary Kom will fight off the challenge of 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen and Pinki Rani – Mary is in good form having won the gold medal at the recent President’s Cup in Indonesia and is seen as one making the cut. Jamuna Boro
Jamuna hopes to make big after President's CupJamuna Bora fresh from her gold medal effort at the recent President’s Cup in Indonesia, will lock horns for a World Cup berth in the 54-kg category with 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist Manish Maun, who incidentally had bagged a silver in 57-kg category at the 2019 Indian Open. The 57-kg category is anticipated to be a hotly contested affair with the likes of 2018 AIBA World Championship silver medallist and 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist Sonia Chahal and Neeraj, who won a stunning gold medal at the recent Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament held in Kaspiysk, Russia. Sarita Devi
Sarita Devi in fray to bag World Cup berthM Meenakumari – the 2019 Chemistry Colonia International Meet silver medallist is also expected to be in the fray. Vastly experienced L Sarita Devi is the frontrunner to bag the World Cup berth in the 60-kg category – the veteran had won the 2019 India Open gold and a bronze at the 2019 Asian Championship and had represented the country in this weight category at the 2018 AIBA World Championship, where she had lost in the second round. But it will not be easy for Sarita as she has to counter the challenge of talented Simranjit Kaur, who fared well in this category having won 64-kg silver medals at the 2019 India Open and the 2019 Asian Championship, not to speak of her 64-kg bronze at the at the 2018 AIBA World Championship. One is not sure if Simranjit will compete in the trials for 60-kg or 64-kg, but the fact is she is in red-hot form at the moment. 2019 India Open bronze medallist Parveen is also expected to be in the fray. Ankushita Boro
A contest among Assam girlsThe 64-kg category should see competition between Assam girls - 2019 India Open silver medallist Ankushita Boro and Pwilao Basumatary, the 2019 Chemistry Colonia International Meet silver medallist along with Simrajnit Kaur if at all it is decided that she fights in the 64-kg category. Another Assam girl Lovlina Borgohain is widely tipped to make the cut for the 69-kg category. The 2018 AIBA World Championship bronze medallist and 2019 India Open silver medallist has made her selection case stronger with her gold medal effort at the recent Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Russia. As far as 75-kg category is concerned, 2019 India Open gold-medallist Bhagyabati Kachari and 2019 India Open silver medallist Saweety Boora will compete along with Pooja Rani. It is tough to say whether the selectors will like all three to compete in 75-kg or 81-kg as all three have experience of fighting in the 81-kg in the past. Pooja Rani had won the 81-kg gold at the 2019 Asian Championship, while Bhagyabati Kachari had represented India in this category at the 2018 AIBA World Championship and had lost in the quarterfinals. Saweety Boora won a coveted a 81-kg silver medal at the 2014 AIBA World Championship held in South Korea. The heavyweight category (+81-kg) is likely to feature Seema Poonia among others – Seema had lost in the early stages of the 2019 Asian Championship and had reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 AIBA World Championship. Indian women’s boxing is in good health if our international performances are anything to go by. Our women pugilists would be surely determined to improve on their four-medal haul (1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals) at the 2018 AIBA World Championship.