Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom had to be content with a silver medal after going down in the final of the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament for men and women here 25 February 2018. It was a stunning result for Mary Kom, who dominated the bout against the local favourite.
The Olympic bronze-medallist Indian was the one initiating any attack for most of the bout. Mary Kom (48kg), who came into the event in pursuit of a third consecutive gold medal after the Asian championships and the India Open, lost to Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova. She quite literally chased Asenova, who was content with occasional touches and back-paddling evasively.
One such chase for getting a punch across by Mary Kom, led to the boxers tumbling over each other. It came as quite a surprise when the judges ruled in the Asenova’s favour, leaving the Indian corner shocked. Also settling for a silver was Seema Poonia (+81kg), who went down to Russia’s Anna Ivanova, done in by her rival’s sheer power. Such was the Russian’s dominance that even a warning in the final round for bending had no bearing on the final outcome.