Manju Rani goes down fighting, takes home silver

Russia: Indian boxer Manju Rani’s stupendous debut run at the Women’s World Championships ended with a silver medal on Sunday after she lost the light flyweight (48kg) final to Russia’s Ekaterina Paltceva here.

The Haryana-boxer, who was seeded sixth, went down 1-4 to the second-seeded local favourite in the first final of the day.

Manju Rani started off slowly and struggled to get past Ekaterina Paltceva’s defence. The Russian was quick on her feet and was regularly connecting her left jabs in the first round. Rani improved in the second round, using her reach well to connect more punches.

The third round saw both boxers taking a more cautious approach. Both Rani and Paltceva engaged in quite a bit of clinching, and the referee needed to intervene a few times.

In the end, Paltceva was declared the winner in front of her home crowd.

Mary Kom, on the other hand, had to settle for a bronze medal after she lost in her semi-final bout of the women’s 51kg category against Turkey’s European Champion Busenaz Cakiroglu.

Other bronze-medallists, Jamuna Boro, lost her 54kg-category semifinal against top-seed Taiwan’s Hsiao-Wen Huang, and Lovlina Borgohain, lost her 69-kg category semifinal against China’s Liu Yang.

Despite losing out on the gold, Manju continued her upward curve, evident from her achievements in 2019. Before the silver, she has previously won the gold medal at National Championships, silver in Strandja Memorial Cup, and bronzes in India Open and Thailand Open.