Debutant boxer Manju Rani ended her run at the World Women’s Boxing Championships with a silver medal on Sunday (October 13) in Ulan-Ude(Russia) after losing to Russia’s Ekaterina Paltceva in the 48kg category.
The sixth-seed went down 1-4 to the second-seeded local favourite in the first final of the day.
The Haryana-boxer, who will turn 20 this Saturday (October 19), lost the battle in the light flyweight category.
She was the lone Indian to qualify for the finals after six-time champion M C Mary Kom (51kg), Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze medals.
The Indian contingent sought reviews of the decisions in Mary Kom and Borgohains bouts but the appeals were turned down by the International Boxing Associations (AIBA) technical committee.
Saturday’s defeat was Borgohain’s second successive third-place finish.
As for Rani, there was very little separating her and the rival, both of whom looked to attack in the first round. The Russian stood out for her near-perfect left hooks in the opening three minutes.
In the second round, the Indian connected some good straights and seemed to have the upper hand over the crowd favourite.
The proceedings slowed down in the final three minutes when both the boxers adopted a cautious approach. There was quite a bit of holding, requiring the referee’s intervention quite a few times.
However, at the end of it, the Russian emerged victorious perhaps for her a shade sharper reflexes. The Indian contingent was however visibly upset after the Paltcevas hand was raised as the victor.
Rani broke into the national camp only this year by winning the national crown for Punjab after not getting the selection nod in Haryana.
Earlier this year, she won a silver medal on debut at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament, one of Europes oldest and most competitive boxing events.
Rani hails from Rithal Phogat village in the Rohtak district of Haryana. The youngster lost her father, a Border Security Force officer, to cancer in 2010.
(With inputs from agencies)