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Mary Kom, Lovlina Ready for Semifinal Challenges

Mary Kom, Lovlina Ready for Semifinal Challenges

Premier Indian boxer MC Mary Kom stormed into the final after beating North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in the 48kg category women's semi-final event at the AIBA World Women's Boxing Championship on Thursday.

Five-time World Champion Mary Kom assured the country its first medal in the 48 kg category as she thrashed her Chinese counterpart Wu Yu 5:0 in a unanimous verdict to cement her spot. Even as the taller and stronger Hyang, who came here wiser after her loss to Mary in the Asian championships final in Ho Chi Minh City past year, launched an early attack, the Indian looked to avoid the blows.

In the third it went even until the last minute when Mary showed her range of punches with a close guard to demolish Korean's last minute challenge."I had prepared well for the semifinals as I do even during my training sessions". With her wn, India are guaranteed four medals from the Championships, their best haul since 2006. The victory keeps her just one step away from an unprecedented sixth gold medal at the tournament.

She is, without a doubt, one of the most successful woman pugilists in the event's history.

"I have beaten the North Korean opponent in the Asian Championships previous year and that time it was a one-sided bout". But every boxer learns something and I think she has learnt (from that bout).

On her next opponent, the Manipuri said "she could be coming with some plans against me because I had beaten her previous year".

Before this World Championships, the Manipuri boxer was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor (five gold and a bronze) on the number of medals won. "I was inexperienced last time when I took on her. I planned my strategy well and fought accordingly".

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Definitely, the former world junior and Youth Olympics (Nanjing) champion had the better exchanges of blows than the 21-year-old Assam girl. I was not as good in the first but did well in the last two rounds. "Studying your opponent is important and with my experience, I have done it for so many years", Mary said after the bout.

The one-point reduction, however, did not make much of a difference as Chen eventually won 29-27, 29-27, 28-28, 29-27, 30-26.

"She also had the knack to come against me and I was not up to the mark", said the CWG bronze medal victor.

It was a day of contrasting fortunes for two Indians.

"I covered up a lot of ground in the second and third, but my opponent did really well and deserved to be the victor", said Bhagyabati.

Sonia Chahal (57kg) and Simranjit Kaur (64kg) are the other remaining Indian boxers in fray, they will play their respective semifinal bouts on Friday.