M C Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi booked their places in the final 16 at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in China yesterday. Unfortunately, their male counterparts couldn’t mirror their performances and were sent crashing out to round off a mixed-bag of a day for the Indian contingent in the qualifiers.
The top seed in the 51 kg category, Mary Kom advanced to the pre-quarter finals beating Nazym Kyzaybay. The Indian, who is an Olympic bronze medallist and also a five-time world champion, beat her Kazakhstan opponent in the opening bout by a score of 2-1.
Mary Kom’s win was followed by L Sarita Devi’s dominant performance. The Indian got the better of Japan's Tomoko Kugimiya by a score of 2-0 to move into the last 16 of the Women’s Lightweight class (60 kg).
However, it was another disappointing day for the male pugilists as Asian Championships silver-medallist Vikas Krishan and Satish Kumar bowed out in the opening round after losing close bouts. Fourth-seed Vikas Krishan lost to local favourite Zhao Minggang in the Men’s Middleweight class (75 kg), while Satish Kumar failed to get the better of another local lad in Haipeng Mu.
But, Dheeraj in the Men’s Lightweight class (60 kg) brought some joy to the Indian camp by defeating Thailand's Pachanya Longchin to advance to the second round.