New Delhi: The atmosphere at the Indian camp was immensely positive as the Indian quartet M.C. Mary Kom (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Sonia (57 kg) and Simranjit Kaur (64 kg) are gearing up for the Aiba Women’s World Boxing Championship semifinals beginning on Thursday.
The practice hall at the Indira Gandhi Stadium was filled with fast-paced music with players matching the tempo as Lovlina honed her skills with India’s foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco as her sparring partner.
Kohl-eyed Mary Kom was busy training with another coach Chhote Lal Yadav. Simranjit and Sonia also went through strenuous practice session with focussing more on punches and footwork.
“We had a good preparation today, practicing a specific strategy and working on technique and are ready for the semifinals,” said Italy’s Bergamasco.
Mary Kom and Lovlina will be seen in action on Thursday while Sonia’s and Simranjit’s bouts are lined-up for Friday.
No doubt, all eyes will be on the 35-year-old five-time world champion when she takes on North Korean Kim Hyang Mi. The Indian had beaten Kim in her last meeting and the Manipuri veteran is confident of good show again. “I know when to drop guard and when to attack. I have worked with the coaches and have a plan in place to counter her,” said Mary, who is chasing her sixth world title.
Debutant Lovlina’s “ultimate goal is to win gold here”. She will be up against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin, whom she had lost in the CWG earlier this year. “My next match is against a Taipei girl and she is shorter than me, so I trained accordingly today,” said the lanky Lovlina.
Lovlina was all praise of coach Bergamasco and said he explained things very well and that helped them a lot. “He has a plan for each of our bouts and we stick to those plans. After CWG this is my first international event and I wanted to win gold here,” the Assam girl said.
Two other Indians in fray, Sonia and Simranjit also said they are well-prepared for the semis. Sonia faces North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa while Simranjit had China’s Dan Dou as her opponent. “I will have to match Dan Dou’s speed. I have seen her video and will plan strategy accordingly,” Simrajit said.