Mary Kom got her Women's World Boxing Championship campaign off to a flying start with a 3-0 win over Juliana Soderstrom in the preliminaries at Astana in Kazakhstan. The 33-year-old has entered the main draw with this victory, and will now face Azize Nimani of Germany in the next round on Saturday.
The Olympic bronze medalist, who had been selected as one of the eight ambassadors for the World Championship, missed out on an Olympic berth at the Asian Qualifiers last month, when she crashed out in the semis. Mary Kom is keen to book her ticket to Rio at Astana, and she took her first step towards doing so by comprehensively beating Swedish pugilist Soderstrom. All the three judges adjudged her the winner at 40-36 in the women's fly weight category (51 kg) match.
India's Laishram Sarita Devi also made a winning started by beating Alla Yaroshevich of Belarus in the women's light weight category (60 kg). The 31-year-old, who was playing in the blue corner, won the bout 3:0 with all three judges announcing her the winner at 40-36. She will now face Victoria Torres of Mexico in the next round on Saturday.