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Home Boxing EXCLUSIVE: With eyes on Olympics, boxer Jamuna Boro planning to shift to...

EXCLUSIVE: With eyes on Olympics, boxer Jamuna Boro planning to shift to 57kg weight category

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World Championship bronze medal winner Jamuna Boro is planning to shift to 57kg weight category for her Olympic debut. Jamuna who won bronze in 54kg in her maiden World Championship that concluded recently in Russia is also confident of doing well in the upcoming qualifiers. Assam girl Jamuna told The Bridge over the phone from New Delhi:

I’m happy that I have won the bronze in my first world championships. But I would have been much happier with a gold. I was pretty sure of gold if I could have defeated Huang Hsiao-Wen (Taiwan) in the semi-final. But I’m more confident now and looking forward to the upcoming events. I would like to change my weight category to 57kg for the Olympics.

Jamuna is confident of doing well in upcoming Olympic qualifiers
Jamuna is confident of doing well in upcoming Olympic qualifiers

Now she is eyeing for the qualifiers to be held in China in February 2020. She lost 5:0 to Huang Hsiao-Wen in the semi-final. This time apart from her, Mary Kom, Lovlina Borgohain and Manju Rani have won medals in the championship.

The 22-year-old pugilist said that she now needs to work hard, especially on strength training as she wishes to change her weight category:

Obviously, there will be stronger and taller boxers in the 57 kg weight. For that, I need to work extra hard with more power training and focus on strength with my coaches and support staff. But I’m confident enough of doing well in that category as well.

 Jamuna is also grateful to the coaches for whatever she has achieved so far
Jamuna is also grateful to the coaches for whatever she has achieved so far

On her bout against Hsiao-Wen in the semi-final, Jamuna said that the Taiwanese pugilist’s height was the main reason behind her defeat. “I have never played against such a tall opponent. I applied all my weapons, but she took advantage of her height and stayed away from getting hit. The tactics I used didn’t work, and I had to be content with the bronze. But I will work on that point of hitting a taller opponent,” Jamuna added.

Jamuna who shifted to boxing from Wushu at childhood is also grateful to the coaches for whatever she has achieved so far starting from the 1st Sub-Junior Women National Boxing Championship gold in 2010 to the latest bronze. She has dedicated her medal at the world championship to her coaches. She adds:

Yes, it is for them. They have helped me to achieve whatever I have done today. They have worked pretty much with us. It’s not that only with the medal winners. They have worked hard and also all the boxers tried hard. I want to thank and dedicate the medal to their contribution. Coaches Raffaele Bergamasco and Mohammed Ali Qamar have worked hard.

Jamuna was single-handedly raised by her mother Nirmali Boro
Jamuna was single-handedly raised by her mother Nirmali Boro

Jamuna who had a very tough childhood as her mother single-handedly raised her is also happy to share the good news with her mother Nirmali Boro back home at remote Belsiri village, in Assam’s Sonitpur district. “Yes, I spoke to her after the bout, and she was obviously happy to know that I won a medal. I’m hoping to see her soon,” Jamuna signed off.

Almost a decade ago, little Jamuna Boro left home for the love of the game. She always loved sports and fell in love with Wushu at a tender age. But later she shifted to boxing. It was difficult for her to pursue her dream because of her poor financial background. But her mother Nirmali Boro stood like a rock behind her and did everything single-handedly she could do to realise the dream of Jamuna.

Her mother even used to sell vegetables in the market to maintain the family. Braving all the odds, Jamuna struck gold at the 1st Sub-Junior Women National Boxing Championship, 2010 in Tamil Nadu. The good run continued and in the 2nd Nations Cup International Sub-Junior Girls Boxing Tournament held in Serbia, she again won gold in 2013. In the 2nd India Open Boxing Tournament, Jamuna won gold. And after that, no looking back! 

And the rest is history, as they say.  

Abdul Gani
Abdul Gani
Abdul Gani is a journalist based in Guwahati. Apart from sports reporting, he has covered major developments in Northeast India for a major part of the last decade.
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