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Mary Kom to lead Indian challenge in Asian championship

New Delhi, March 1 - Five-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom will spearhead the Indian challenge in the Asian Confederation Women's Boxing Championship in Ulan Bator March 16-26.

Mary Kom will be leading a 10-member strong squad that also has senior boxer and four-time Asian champion L.Sarita Devi.

The tournament will serve as a preparatory event for the first and only Olympic Qualifying tournament - the AIBA World Championships - to be held May 9-20 in Qinhuangdao, China.

Indian women have consistently excelled at the Asian Championships since the inaugural edition in Bangkok in 2001.

Sarita has won medals at all the editions of the tournament. She won silver in Bangkok in the featherweight division and bagged four consecutive gold medals twice each in bantam and flyweight division.

World champion Mary missed a podium finish in 2001 but has bagged three gold medals and one silver medal since.

Mary, who has shifted to 51kg weight category, said the tournament will help het get better.

'The Asian Championships will be a big test for me. It will be my first major tournament in the 51 kg weight after the Asian Games in 2010,' she said.

'Lot of good women boxers in world come from Asia, so this event will provide me a good opportunity to access my game before the big events -- the World Championships and the Olympics,' she added.

The complete squad: Pinky Jangra (48kg), MC Mary Kom (51kg), Sonia Lather (54kg), K Mandakini Chanu (57kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Meena Rani (64kg), Monica Saun (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg), Kavita Chahal (+81kg).

P.K.Muralidharan Raja (team manager), Anoop Kumar (head coach), D.Chandra Lal, Hemlata Negi, Geeta Chanu (assistant coaches), Sanjogita Soodan (doctor) and Hema Valecha (physiotherapist)


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