Hanoi, November 3: Olympic bronze-medalist and five-time world champion M C Mary Kom and debutant Shiksha on Thursday sailed into the quarterfinals of the Asian women's Boxing Championships being held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The 34-year-old, Mary Kom registered a commanding win over local favourite Diem Thi Trinh Kieu in the opening round of the light flyweight 48 Kg category. Mary Kom took her time to get a measure of her opponent in the initial stages, maintaining the right distance to deny any clear shots, before stepping up her momentum with sharp reflexes. Diem Thi Trinh Kieu, a local favourite, was cheered upon by a partisan crowd and she came to life in the last three minutes.
However, the five-time world champion looked unfazed by it and stepped up her game with some brilliant combination blows throwing her opponent off balance. Mary Kom will now be up against Chinese Taipei's Meng- Chieh Ping who defeated Thailand's Panpradab Plodsai in her opening bout. Mary Kom at this event is making a return to her preferred weight division after competing in the 51 kg category, which was made an Olympic category before the 2012 Games.
Shiksha won her opening bout against Mongolia's Oyun-Erdene Nergui in the 54kg category to advance to the last eight. She will square off against Ferangiz Koshimova, who got a first-round bye. A total of 107 boxers from 20 countries are competing in the continental meet, where India is placed third on the all-time medals' list with 19 gold, 21 silver, and 20 bronze medals.