New Delhi: Debutant Sonia Chahal lit up the Indian camp when she edged past North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa with a unanimous decision in the semifinal of the featherweight (57kg) class at the 10th World Women’s Boxing Championships here on Friday.
The Haryana girl became only the second Indian after M. C. Mary Kom to make the final slated for Saturday.
The other Indian in action, Simranjit Kaur, had to be content with a bronze after she went down to China’s Dou Dan 1-4 in the light welterweight (64kg) bout.
“I can’t believe I’m in the final. Feeling proud that I achieved this feat at home. It was a tough bout against the Korean. She is the Asian Games silver medallist and an experienced boxer. I stuck to my strategy and the style of play and I am happy that I won,” Sonia said.
Sonia got off to a sedate start and looked nervous as well but as the bout wore on the Haryana girl gained confidence. The North Korean used her experience to attack from the right. Sonia displayed a defensive approach and kept low guard but Jo was in full flow with her left and right jabs.
In the second round, Sonia upped the ante and waited for the right opening to punch in the scoring areas. The Indian evaded Jo’s attack thrice with speedy footwork and that helped her clinch crucial points.
The next round saw Sonia become more agg-ressive. She landed a rig-ht hook straight in her opponent’s face.
Jo returned fiery jabs but Sonia successfully do-used them and kept her hold till the end.
Speaking of her bout, the 20-year-old said, “In the first two rounds I was more defensive but in the third round I became more agg-ressive as advised by my coach,” said Sonia, who will meet Germany’s Orn-ella Gabriele Wahner in Saturday’s final.
For Simranjit, it was a tough job from the beginning as she was trailing in the first two rounds. She had to go all out in the final round, which she won but was not enough to secure the bout....