Jaismine, whose selection for the Worlds was challenged by the reigning national champion Poonam Poonia in her weight division, scored a dominating RSC (referee stops contest) victory over Ambrose after her Tanzanian opponent received two standing counts from the referee in the first round.
The Birmingham CWG bronze medallist, who was playing her first international tournament after recovering from a shoulder injury suffered ahead of the Bhopal Nationals in December, displayed a wide array of combination punches, coupled with her tactical and technical superiority, to see off her rival in a commanding fashion.
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“I am taking one bout at a time. I have prepared well for the Worlds. I am focusing on my strengths and looking to give my best,” she said after her bout.
Joining Jaismine in the pre-quarters was Shashi Chopra, who defeated Kenya’s Mwangi Teresiah by unanimous decision (5-0) in the round of 32 in the women’s 63kg category. Shashi looked supremely confident in her approach and it never occured that she’s playing her first major tournament at a senior level.
However, India suffered its first loss at the Worlds when Sanamacha Chanu’s last-minute replacement, Shruti Yadav, lost 0-5 to China’s Zhou Pan in her round of 32 bout in the women’s 70kg division. Shruti lacked footwork which hampered her speed and zing in her punches.
Boycotting NZ, Netherlands boxers compete
New Zealand and the Netherlands, who were part of a US-led boycott of the Worlds after the International Boxing Association (IBA) allowed Russian and Belarus boxers to compete under their national flag and anthem, participated in the tournament albeit in different circumstances.
While New Zealand’s boxing federation allowed its women boxers to compete at the meet after realising that its squad trained hard for the Worlds, Dutch boxer De Cler Megan came to participate on her own under the IBA’s ‘Financial Support Program’ (FSP) encouraging boxers from the boycotting nations to compete in New Delhi.
Megan later told the media that she hasn’t come to the event to make any political statement but for the sake of competing against the world’s best. “I don’t know about the sanctions but if there’s any coming, we’ll see then,” she said.