MC Mary KomCHENNAI: It’s crunch time for women pugilists. With the Olympic qualifiers just a few weeks away, the focus is on familiar faces — London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi — as always.

To be in contention, the thoroughbreds had to fight it out during the trials in New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was business as usual for both as they fought hard to book a flight to Astana, Kazakhstan — where the Women’s World Championships are to be held (May 19-27).

If the coaches are to be believed, the duo were in a class of their own during the Delhi test. AIBA ambassador Mary has fought many battles around the world against many touted opponents but it was Pinki Jangra again who stood against her in the ring.

Chhote Lal, who was ringside, feels the five-time world champion has done enough to have another shot at the title. “She fought a really good fight. Everyone was convinced that she got the better of Pinki,” Lal opined.

It was just a month back when Mary had narrowly missed out on a chance to secure a Rio berth during the Asian Championships. It was a big blow for the mother of three then, but Lal is confident that his ward will seal the deal in Astana. “We started training soon after she landed from China. Charles (Atkinson) and myself sat down together and assessed her performance there. Based on that, she has been training for the upcoming challenge. I’m confident that she will put a tough fight next month,” he remarked.

Mary’s statemate Sarita has had a equally positive run in the last few weeks. Unlike Mary, she faced two boxers during the tests. “The trials were one-sided,” was coach D Chandralal’s assessment.

Chandralal, who has known her since 2001, has been helping her cause since the South Asian Games test event. The Dronacharya award winner is well aware of her masterful punches inside the ring but he is concerned about her fitness ahead of the big test. Sarita, who has been rallying between the training arena and hospital in the past few weeks, has been following his meticulously laid out plans to achieve her dream. “She has minor injuries and is hoping to be fully fit. She’s been having restricted training and at the same time the treatment is also going on,” he revealed.

“We are consulting with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). We have a sports medicine doctor. He was previously in the army and was also associated with boxing. Under his guidance, she is recovering fast,” he added.

Chandralal is hopeful that their prudently maintained plans will pay off. “This week we will continue to have controlled training and from next week onwards, we will have full-fledged training.”

Above all minor niggles, the Keralite is mainly worried about her shoulder which has restricted her big punches. “The shoulder injury is the major concern. It is restricting her movements. Her master punch is a left hook. The muscles are a little weak now. Her punch is affected. We hope that she can regain full strength.”

Despite the concerns, the coach is just focussed on fine-tuning her game. “The Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) has helped us a great deal. I have asked them to provide two sparring partners from Pune (army institute). Within few days, they should reach here.”

http://www.gofrnzy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mary-Kom.jpghttp://www.gofrnzy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mary-Kom-150x150.jpgGoFrenzyBoxingSportsMary Kom,Sarita on Course for World Meet
CHENNAI: It’s crunch time for women pugilists. With the Olympic qualifiers just a few weeks away, the focus is on familiar faces — London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi — as always. To be in contention, the thoroughbreds had to fight it out during the...