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Medal rush on

Craig Cozier

Medal rush on

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THE big names all took care of business, some more handily than others, as 20 boxers in five weight divisions assured themselves of medals by punching their way into tomorrow’s semi-final round of the AIBA Women’s World Championships yesterday at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Three defending champions – Mary Kom of India (flyweight), Katie Taylor of Ireland (lightweight), and Karolina Michalczuk of Poland (bantamweight) – all advanced handily.
But another champ from 2008, China’s Cancan Ren, almost became the biggest casualty of the championships, struggling to a 3-3 tie against the adept Peamwla Laopeam of Thailand before winning on the judges countback of the small scores.
Comfortable winner
Ren’s biggest rival, England’s Nicola Adams, was a more comfortable winner, 12-1, over South Korea’s Euna Jang.
Earlier, Kom, chasing her fifth consecutive world title, was an efficient 9-2 victor over Lynsey Holdaway of Wales.
A 27-year-old mother of twins and a keen Jackie Chan fan, Kom will face Alice Aparri of the Philippines in tomorrow’s final four.
Kom seems on course for another final showdown with 2008 silver medallist, Romania’s Steluta Duta, who cruised past Hungary’s Katalin Ancsin 9-2.
Duta faces Kazakhstan’s Nazgul Boranbayeva in the semi-finals.
Taylor, well supported by a couple dozen Irish fans in the stands, advertised why she is fast becoming one of the poster girls of the sport with a clinical 16-1 victory over Russia’s Anastasia Belyakova.
The 24-year-old Taylor – also good enough to have represented Ireland at soccer – was too quick and too powerful for her opponent.
Her victory set up a showdown with American Queen Underwood, who outpointed Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva 6-3.
Underwood vowed to take revenge on Taylor, who won their only previous contest, in Ireland last year.
“I wouldn’t say she beat me. She got the decision,” Underwood said of that fight. “But I’m ready to go out there and bring the gold home for my country.”
The bout of the afternoon did not feature any title favourites but bantamweights Csilla Nemedi-Varga and Greece’s Evgenia Tasidou produced a thrilling slugfest.
Nemedi-Varga withstood three standing eight counts to hold on to a remarkable 17-15 victory.
Yesterday’s quarter-final results:
Light flyweight (45-48 kg)
May Kom (India) beat Lynsey Holdaway (Wales) 9-2
Alica Aparri (Philippines) beat Anusha Kodithuwakku (Sri Lanka) 8-2
Steluta Duta (Romania) beat Katalin Ancsin (Hungary) 9-2
Nazgul Boranbayeva (Kazakhstan) beat Myong Sim Kim (North Korea) 5-3
Flyweight (49-51 kg)
Hanne Makinen (Finland) beat Shannon O’Connell (Australia) 13-1
Nicola Adams (England) beat Euna Jang (South Korea) 12-1
Tetyana Kob (Ukraine) beat Yanina Benavidez (Argentina) 13-2
Cancan Ren (China) beat Peamwla Laopeam (Thailand) on countback (bout tied 3-3)
Bantamweight (52-54 kg)
Hye Song Kim (North Korea) beat Lorna Weaver (France) 8-2
Csilla Nemedi-Varga (Hungary) beat Evgenia Tasidou (Greece) 17-15
Karolina Michalczuk (Poland) beat Ayse Tas (Turkey) 9-3
Elena Savelyeva (Russia) beat Nesthy Petecio (Phillipines) 12-3
Featherweight (55-57 kg)
Rim Jouini (Tunisia) beat Maike Klueners (Germany) 10-7
Yanzi Yang (China) beat Marzia Davide (Italy) 7-3
Tassamalee Thongjan (Thailand) beat Taynna Cardoso (Brazil)
Kum Ju Yun (North Korea) beat Sandra Kruk (Poland) 8-6
Lightweight (58-60 kg)
Karolina Graczyk (Poland) beat Ingrid Egner (Norway) 8-4
Cheng Dong (China) beat Danulse Dilhofova (Czech Republic) 8-2
Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Anastasia Belyakova (Russia) 16-1
Queen Underwood (United States) beat Denitsa Eliseeva (Bulgaria) 6-3