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Russia starts favourite

Principal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: World champion Russia will start favourite at the World women's boxing championship at the NDMC Indoor Stadium here from November 18 to 23.

Russia had won seven gold medals from 13 weight categories in the last World championship held at Podolsk, Russia, in 2005. India, which finished third behind Russia and Canada, winning one gold and four bronze medals, is led by two-time world champion, M. C. Marykom.

"We are confident of winning more medals than the last time," said Marykom, who unveiled the World championship logo, Jatayu.

"I am ready for the challenge after a sustained training and competition programme ahead of the championship," said Marykom, the 46kg pugilist. In her weight category, Marykom will be up against Russia's Elena Sabitova and Romania's Steluta Duta. Besides host India, the World champion Russia, Ukraine, China and Turkey will be fielding full-strength teams, making this championship the biggest ever. With this being the first ever World women's championship hosted by India in any discipline, there has been an added interest as the capital readies itself to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"We had a very good training programme and all our boxers are fit for the championship," said the Indian coach Anoop Kumar. India won the Venus Cup international invitational tournament in Denmark.

The United States is the other major team. The U. S. will be fielding its pugilists in 12 weight categories. Asian powerhouse, North Korea is also in contention.

The contestants will undergo dope test with samples being collected at random.

The Indian team:

M. C. Marykom (46kg), Kalpana Choudhary (48kg), Chhotu Loura (50kg), L. Sarita Devi (52kg), Preeti Beniwal (54kg), N. Usha (57kg), S. Ibomcha Devi (60kg), Jenny R. L. (63kg), Aruna Mishra (66kg), Aswathy Mol (70kg), K. C. Lekha (75kg), Renu (80kg), Jyotsana (86kg). Coach: Anoop Kumar.

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