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Pooja Rani advances to last-16 of World C�ships

By The Assam Tribune

ASTANA (KAZAKHSTAN), May 20: Eyeing a medal as well as an Olympic berth, Asian Games bronze-medallist Pooja Rani (75kg) entered the pre-quarterfinal of the AIBA Women�s World Boxing Championships with a hard-fought triumph over Ukraine�s Mariya Borutsa here today.

In the non-Olympic categories, Nikhat Zareen (54kg) and Sonia Lather (57kg) emerged triumphant to enter the pre-quarterfinals of their respective categories.

Rani was the last Indian boxer to take the ring today and she ensured that the night ended on a high for the country.

The scoreline, however, did not give a fair assessment of the fight that Rani had to ensure a win.

The Indian charged at her rival aggressively in the opening round itself but ended up lagging behind Borutsa. She changed gears in the second round and waited for her opponent to make the first move.

The strategy worked brilliantly for Rani, who had no trouble outwitting Borutsa on the counter-attack. The Ukrainian also self-destructed by bending excessively which fetched her a warning in the third round.

Earlier in the afternoon session, Zareen (54kg) was up against a sprightly opponent in Australia�s Bianca El-Mir.

Zareen, a former junior world champion, won on a split decision of 2-1 owing to El-Mir�s determined fight, most notably in the final round. � PTI

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