Elorda Cup: Alfiya stuns former world champ to clinch gold; Indian boxers claim 14 medals

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The reigning Youth World champions Alfiya Pathan and fellow boxer Gitika produced sensational performances to win gold medals in the Elorda Cup in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan on Monday.

Two other female boxers, Kalaivani Srinivasan and Jamuna Boro signed off with silver medals as India ended their campaign with 14 medals including 10 bronze.

Nagpur-girl Alfiya thrashed the 2016 world champion and a strong contender for the title, Lazzat Kungeibayeva by a 5-0 margin without breaking a sweat in the women’s +81kg final while Gitika clinched a thrilling 4-1 win over compatriot Kalaivani in an intense all-Indian women’s 48kg final.

Alfiya and Gitika wer making their senior international debut.

Alfiya proved too strong for the reigning Asian champion Kungeibayeva as she completely dominated the bout which eventually ended as a one-sided affair with a unanimous decision in Alfiya’s favour. The experienced Kazakh boxer looked clueless against the young Indian, who demonstrated remarkable skills.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win a gold medal, especially against the World Championships medallist,” an elated Alfiya said after winning gold.

Gitika, who hails from Rohtak, handed the country the first gold of the day by winning an intense all-Indian final against Kalaivani wherein both the boxers started with an aggressive intent and kept attacking each other.

While they continued to exchange heavy punches, Gitika effortlessly shifted gears as the bout progressed and did enough, in the end, to tilt the result in her favour.

“It was a great feeling to win a gold medal in the first senior international tournament. This is a start; I want to win more medals at the senior level in international competitions,” Gitika said after her win.

Meanwhile, the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Jamuna gave her all against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Uktamova but ended up with a 0-5 loss in the 54kg final.

Alfiya and Gitika fetched themselves prize money of USD 700 for their gold medal-winning feats while silver and bronze medal winners were awarded USD 400 and USD 200 each respectively.

With the addition of two gold and as many silver medals on the final day, the Indian contingent also concluded its campaign with 14 medals, including 10 bronze, in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

Indian women boxers secured two gold, two silver and six bronze medals in the tournament which witnessed top players in action from strong boxing countries such as India, Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.

Jyoti Gulia (52kg), Sakshi (54kg), Sonia Lather (57kg), Neema (63kg), Lalita (70kg) and Babita Bisht (81kg) were the six bronze medallists in the women’s category.

Among men, Kuldeep Kumar (48kg), Ananta Chopade (54kg), Sachin (57kg) and Jugnoo (92kg) claimed bronze medals.

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