Saritha survives Lankan scare as India bag all boxing gold

sarita-devi-SAG-g Sarita Devi faced a stiff challenge from Sri Lankan M. Vidushika Prabadhi | PTI

M.C. Mary Kom and Pooja Rani knocked out their respective opponents while L. Sarita Devi survived a scare as India grabbed all the three gold medals on offer in women’s boxing for an overall clean-sweep of top honours in the 12th South Asian Games on Tuesday.

On a comeback trail after recovering from a shoulder injury, London Olympics bronze-medallist Mary Kom (51kg) packed a powerful punch against her Sri Lankan rival Anusha Kodituwakku Dilrukshi to be adjudged winner via Technical Knockout (TKO) in a bout lasting less than 90 seconds.

With Mary landing some powerful blows, Anusha lost her balance and injured her right knee. This forced her to take a medical break before attempting a comeback.

However, a booming jab from the five-time world champion sent her almost out of the ring before the referee intervened.

The injury to Anusha will take about two-three months to heal.

“Anusha has sustained medical collateral ligament tear which would take about two three months to recover,” the Sri Lankan team doctor told PTI.

When asked about her opponent, Mary Kom said, “I’m so happy when anyone challenges me, I don’t comment before the bout. But deep inside, I was very positive.”

“After children, the comeback is not easy. I still do training to motivate myself. I’m thankful to my entire team,” she said.

Sarita Devi, returning to the ring after her one-year ban following the infamous Asian Games meltdown, faced a stiff challenge from another Sri Lankan opponent in M. Vidushika Prabadhi.

The Incheon bronze-medallist overwhelmed the Lankan in the first two rounds but her opponent came back strongly in the third round with some powerful blows leading to Sarita falling twice before the Indian won by a narrow 39-36 margin to be adjudged winner 3-0.

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