India win a record seven gold medals at Youth Boxing World Championships in Poland

This was Indian women boxers’ best performance at the youth championships. They had won five gold medals in the 2017 edition in Guwahati.

By Naveen Peter

Seven Indian women boxers clinched gold medals in their respective weight categories on the penultimate day of the 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce, Poland on Thursday.

Gitika (48kg), Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg), Poonam (57kg), Vinka (60kg), Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), T Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) and Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) will return home as champions.

The Indian women boxers thus finished as the No. 1 team in the ongoing championship. Their previous best effort at the youth world meet was five golds in the 2017 edition in Guwahati.

Earlier, India won three medals in the men’s category. Bishwamitra Chongthom (49kg), Ankit Narwal (64kg) and Vishal Gupta (91kg) won a bronze medal each after bowing out in the semi-finals. That gave India 11 medals at the championships so far.

This has been India’s best performance at the age-group world championships, bettering the 10 medals from the 2018 edition in Hungary.

A 20-member Indian team participated in the Poland event and Sachin fights in the final of the men’s 56kg weight division later on Friday.

Leading the gold rush on Thursday was the Asian Youth Champion T Sanamacha Chanu, a trainee at MC Mary Kom’s boxing academy in Imphal, who registered a 5-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Dana Diday in the 75kg final.

Later, Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) beat the European youth champion, Daria Kozorez of Moldova, by a unanimous decision.

Gitika, who booked her final slot by beating two-time European champion Erika Prisciandaro of Italy, also won 5-0 against local favourite Natalia Kuczewska in the 48kg final.

Babyrojisana (51kg) and Poonam (57kg) too won by unanimous verdicts, beating European junior champion Valeriia Linkova of Russia and Sthelyne Grosy of France, respectively.

Vinka (60kg) was declared the winner against Kazakhstan’s Zhuldyz Shayakhmetova after the referee had to stop the contest while Arundhati Choudhary (69kg) won 5-0 against Polish boxer Barbara Marcinkowska.

“This has been an amazing effort from our youth boxers especially when the players had to be confined at home for the most part of the last year and only make do with online training sessions,” said BFI president Ajay Singh.

“Our coaches and support staff did a stellar job despite the limitations and challenges. This achievement is a testament to the talent we have in the upcoming generation of Indian boxing,” Ajay Singh added.