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Posted at: Jan 7, 2019, 7:57 AM; last updated: Jan 7, 2019, 7:57 AM (IST)

Manju, Simran clinch gold for Punjab

Haryana win team championship with 41 points, Railways second
Manju, Simran clinch gold for Punjab
Manju (blue) in action during the 3rd Elite National Boxing Championships at Vijayanagara

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6

Punjab boxers Manju Rani and Simranjit Kaur bagged some good news by winning two gold medals on the concluding day of the 3rd Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships, at Vijayanagara. 

Manju won the 48kg category gold medal, while Simranjit claimed the top podium in the 64kg category. She was also adjudged Best Boxer of the championship. Manju had no difficulty as she stopped the march of S Kalaivani of Tamil Nadu with a split (4-1) verdict. She dominated the match before staggering her rival. At the end of first two rounds it had become clear that Manju would have the last laugh. Kalavani on other hand exchanged few blows in the first round to earn a crucial but consoling point in her favour.

Simranjit, the silver medal winner at the World Champiohisp won the second gold medal for Punjab. She outplayed Pwilao Basumatary of All India Police team with a 5-0 verdict. She was in good touch since the word go and pulled off an energetic first round to prove her mettle over Pwilao.   

Meanwhile most of the finalists, sans world championships quarterfinalist Manisha Moun failed to show the kind of form, she displayed against World bronze medallist Christina Cruz and Dina Zholaman on the world stage at New Delhi in November, had to settle for a silver medal. She went down to Meenakumari Devi of All India Police in the 54 kg class. Other Haryana boxers Shashi Chopra (57 kg) and Nupur (75kg) lost their bouts to join Manisha. The only good news for Haryana came from three gold medals through Pinki Rani Jangra (51kg), Neeraj (60kg) and Pooja Rani (81kg), despite six of their boxers had entered the finals. 

Haryana and the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) shared six out of 10 gold medals with Sonia Lather (57kg), Neetu (75kg) and Seema Poonia (+81kg) as their pugilists reached the top place on the podium. 

In Fly weight category, Pinki Rani was the favourite for the gold but the way she began it aroused doubts as her Telangana opponent Nikhat Zareen took the initiative and opened with few lefts and sent down some combination punches. 

Pinki, as she was surprised, steadied herself with good counters. But Nikhat continued to trade blows. However, in the final analysis Pinki emerged as the ultimate winner with more punches on target areas with a 3-2 verdict in her favour. In middleweight (75 kg) Railways' Neetu defeated Haryana’s Nupur, while in the heavy weight (+81kg) Seema Poonia scrapped against Kavita Chahal of All India Police with a 3-2 decision.  Experienced pugilist Sonia Lather did not have to go full blast against Shashi, who failed to produce the form of her semifinal bout, as she won with a 5-0 verdict. 

Meanwhile, Haryana claimed the Best Team title by scoring 41 points, followed by Railways (39 points) on the second position. Simranjit of Punjab was named Best Boxer, while S Kalaivani of Tamil Nadu won the Best Promising Boxer title. Nikhat Zareen of Telangana was adjudged Best Challenging Boxer of the tournament.   

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