Hyderabad: India had mixed fortunes in boxing on Thursday. Even as India celebrated the big win (4-1) of V Satish Kumar over Ricardo Brown of Jamaica in the men’s pre-quarterfinals of the super-heavy weight category (91kg), the much-expected women’s 51kg flyweight bout between Magnificent Mary Kom and Valencia Victoria ended in a split decision with the Columbian being declared winner 3-2.
But in the morning it was Satish Kumar who stole the hearts of the Indians. In fact, it is the first time that an Indian recorded a win in the super heavyweight category in the Olympics. Satish exuded a lot of confidence. He was agile and athletic.
Moving his feet well, 32-year-old Satish had good defence too. The Indian pugilist has been an impressive performer in recent tournaments in Kazakhstan. On Thursday, he started strongly and threw good punches at the Jamaican. The Indian was an overwhelming winner in the first round and continued in the same vein till the third round. The Jamaican ended up in sustaining two cuts — one on his forehead and the other on his chin
However, in the evening the loss of 38-year-old Mary Kom was a bit of a dampener. For her age, Mary Kom fought gallantly. The young Colombian rained good blows in the first round to take the advantage and that 4-1 verdict helped her in the end.
Perhaps if Mary Kom had connected her blows, it would have been a different story. In the second and third rounds, it was the Indian super star who dominated the show. She earned 3-2 verdicts in the second and third rounds. The bout went to the wire. In the end, the Colombian edged out the Indian with an overall 3-2 decision.
Nevertheless, displaying a great sportsmanship spirit, Mary Kom, the Ambassador of Indian sport, had a huge smile and hugged her opponent after the bout. It was sad she would miss an Olympic medal which slipped out of her hands. Mary Kom is truly a legend.
(Author: V Devarajan is an Olympian boxer)
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