Adriatic Pearl Tournament: Two Northeast Pugilists Bag Gold Medals

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An outstanding performance by the Indian boxing team, Manipur’s boxer Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg) and Arundhati Choudhary (69kg) have bagged two more gold medals on the final day of the 30th Adriatic Pearl Tournament in Budva, Montenegro. The women’s squad, featuring boxers below the age of 18, was also declared the ‘Best Team of the Tournament’.

Babyrojisana Chanu, Arundhati Choudhary fetched gold medals and Lucky Rana secured silver as Indian women emerged as the top team with 10 medals (five gold, three silver, and two bronze). Uzbekistan (2 gold) and Czech Republic (1 gold) ended at second and third positions, respectively.

Three-time Khelo India gold medalist Arundhati once again showed her supremacy as the Rajasthan pugilist pulled off a dominating 5-0 victory against Ukraine’s Maryana Stoiko. However, Manipur girl Chanu, who trains at MC Mary Kom’s academy, had to work hard against Asian junior champion Sabina Bobokulova of Uzbekistan before outshining the opponent in a close fight with a 3-2 split verdict to win the final bout as well as the gold medal. Meanwhile in the 64kg, Lucky suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Finnish boxer Lia Pukkila to claim the silver medal.

Alfiya Pathan (+81kg), Vinka (60kg), and T Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) are the other Indian women boxers who secured gold medals in their respective categories earlier in this tournament. For her magnificent show, Vinka received the Best Women Boxer of the Tournament award. With two medals in the men’s category, the 19-member Indian team concluded their campaign with an overall second position (12 medals). Uzbekistan and Ukraine claimed first and third position respectively in the overall standing.

The Adriatic Pearl Tournament provided an ideal opportunity for the Indians as they participated in a tournament for the first time since the lockdown. With AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship scheduled in Poland from April 10-24, impressive performances here will help young Indian pugilists the required boost and confidence going forward.

With global competition resuming after more than a year due to the Covid-enforced lockdown, the Indian officials accompanying the team ensured the youngsters got maximum benefit of the six-day long international tour by having extra training sessions apart from the main competition.

“We made efforts to arrange sparring sessions with teams like Finland, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. The Indians who had finished their events had an hour sparring session with them daily. This was aimed at gaining as much experience as possible. It was very productive as our boxers got the opportunity to train with players from other countries,” Indian team coach Bhaskar Bhatt told IANS.

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